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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help


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re Tony Walton:

You are correct that the government has said that it will attempt to issue ID cards when passports come up for renewal. However, this does not mean that the passport will be the foundation of the ID card, whatever they say. They will simply try to do both at the same time.

The reason is that the UK must comply with an assortment of international agreements on passports, which will include a facial biometric to comply with ICAO regulations, not part of the ID card biometrics. The EU are also debating what form of biometric to place on EU passports. Fingerprints are being considered, along with other forms of biometric, but this has not yet been decided.

It will be very expensive for the British government to produce one kind of biometric passport, only to have to replace them all within a few years with entirely different technology.

The upshot is that it is very unlikely that the government can combine the two, as they originally envisaged. They can, of course, try to force you to register for an ID card at the same time you turn up to register for a passport, but they will not be the same thing. The biometric technologies will be different.

This gives the lie to government claims that we have to do biometric ID "anyway" for passports. Yet again, the true cost of the ID card is likely to be higher than their original proposals.
matt palmer, 12 years ago.

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