El Reg on the case

Re-posted from archive of infinite ideas machine 2004:

John Lettice’s Special Report, ID cards: a guide for technically-challenged PMs, on The Register tackles many of the common misconceptions about biometrics and ID systems.

Misunderstanding the nature, limitations and implications of the use of biometrics is common and is something which I have professionally had to tackle in a public and voluntary sector context. Although there are some instances in which their use is justified, given current levels of maturity (i.e. not very) and the inherent fallibility (none can eliminate false negatives or false positives) of such systems, biometric implementations must be carefully managed – legislatively & organisationally as well as technologically – to ensure the actual benefits match up to the perceived ones, and that serious risks & negative consequences are avoided.

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