Friday, February 03, 2006

Double blow for ID cards

The government's ID plans have received a double blow today. The new "data" published by the Home Office on the cost of identity theft has been comprehensively rubbished:

In a report published yesterday, the Home Office said that the annual cost of ID fraud had reached £1.7 billion. However, this figure was undermined by Apacs, the group that represents payment organisations such as banks and credit firms, which said that the cost had been grossly overestimated and that its own figures had been misrepresented.

And people are waking up to the security problems posed by the use of RFIDs in the cards:

BIOMETRIC passports and ID cards are the Governments answer to identity fraud, but a Dutch firm may have exposed a flaw in the system. Experts at the security company Riscure have discovered how to skim the data from a biometric passport from 10m (30ft) away, and decode it quickly. The skimming is possible because Dutch passports will have a radio frequency tag or contactless chip, similar to those being considered for British ID cards. The chips will be a requirement if ID cards are to be used as travel documents, as the Government intends.

The Commons will be voting on 13 February to decide whether to accept the amendments to the Bill made by the Lords.

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