back to article IPS misses its ID cards for foreigners target

The Home Office has confirmed that it has issued half as many ID cards to non-EU foreign nationals living in the UK as planned. The trial of the cards was to issue between 40,000 and 50,000 cards by the end of March, but it has only issued 22,500. Identity and Passport Service Service chief executive James Hall insisted the …


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  1. Ash

    All together now...




    Labour needs to go VERY quickly.

  2. Eponymous Cowherd
    Black Helicopters

    Thin end of wedge?

    Welcome to GovBank, Citizen.

    Insert your debit card in slot 1.....

    Remove debit card and insert ID card......

    Please key in your pin......

    Please select the amount you require.....

    Your financial transaction has been logged on the NIR. Please collect your cash.

  3. Tony
    Black Helicopters

    Things that make you go Hmmmm....

    "Hall also said the agency was considering adding Chip and PIN to the ID card"

    So the project is behind schedule and they are now thinking of changing the scope of the project. This factor has been identified by various bodies / committees etc over the years as one of the primary reasons a project will fail. Yet they still refuse to learn from mistakes.

    "If we conclude that chip and pin is a key part of making it useful..."

    I read this that they are now trying to think of way to use the ID card to generate revenue. In other words, sell the data to the highest bidder.

    "...there's no technical reason why we couldn't do it."

    There's no technical reason that I couldn't fire bomb their offices. It's illegal, and if caught , I would go to jail, but technically, I could still do it.

    No doubt, I have now lost any chance I once had of working for the spooks. Damn!

    I was brought up to respect authority; the thought of going to jail would have been shameful. I can now envisage a time in the not too distant future where I would end up being arrested for opposing authority. Although a child of the 50's, I missed out on the protests of the late 60's (I'm not just square, I'm cubic!) - I think it is time to dig out the bell bottom flairs, the psychedelic t-shirts and hippie love beads, get off my arse and make my voice heard.

    Sing along with me "We will overcome, we will overcome-ome, we wll overcome someday-ay-ay"

  4. M7S

    So what happens if you forget your pin?

    If its construed that you might be in posession of a stolen card by not knowing the PIN, and as the face and fingertips (and possibly iris') match the card, they must be stolen too, encounters with fome bureacrat checking your entitlement to, for example, have your rubbish collected could end up being very painful.

    What if one factor matches such as you know the PIN, but another, such as a biometric, doesn't? Which will take precedence?

    And the potential for problems with the bank card details being on i'll leave to others to comment on. It's too depressing, really it is.

  5. Robin Bradshaw

    Proven track record

    It figures the contract would go to IBM, given that they had a similar strategic partnership with Germany around 70 years ago, I guess they will be busy un-crating those old Hollerith machines for the rest of the week.

  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Recommended viewing

    "Children of Men". If you want to see the future of Britain as dreamed about by Gordon Brown, Jacqui Smith and Co.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Don't make me say it...

    ...mine's the one with the gold-plated white elephant in the pocket.

    (with someone else's details on it, ofc)

  8. Duncan Hothersall

    That BBC story

    also quotes the head numpty at the Passport Service as saying that chip and pin is "one way to help protect internet shoppers".

    Why are we allowing such stupid statements to be made unchallenged anyway? Isn't it the job of a journalist, in that situation, to say "excuse me, mate - how would chip and pin make any fucking difference to shopping over the internet, you lying twat?" Or words to that effect?

    Argh, it drives me mad that government is STILL being run by management consultants and ad men.

  9. david

    Where due diligence meets free consultancy?

    "The IPS interviewed each supplier 50 times before awarding the contract."

    I wonder which supplier came up with the idea of chip and pin in its Innovation proposal?

  10. John Smith Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    That's £650m up front

    And I bet they are still not done yet.

  11. James

    IBM, the natural choice

    Don't they have lots of experience for building databases of people, something to do with Jews in Germany?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I just hope that this whole nonsense gets dumped after the next election. One thing did spring to mind though, IBM do have a track record of running dreadful databases:

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats that I hear?

    Perhaps it's the swooshing sound of well stuffed brown envelopes being exchanged for knowing winks and ever larger slices of taxpayer cash.

  14. RichyS
    Black Helicopters


    "If we conclude that chip and pin is a key part of making it useful, there's no technical reason why we couldn't do it."

    That rather suggests that Mr Hall doesn't believe that the cards are currently useful.

    I think he'd find that quite a large number of people would agree...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Chip and PIN

    "no technical reason why we couldn't do it."

    Except that continuously changing the scope and spec of the system is the main reason that projects like this go way over budget and are late in delivery.

    That's apart from the more general: why the f*** would I want to put my ID card into an ATM? Next thing, they will be trying to combine it with bus/tran passes and supermarket loyalty cards so that big brother knows where you are, what you are eating, and what you spend you money on. No thanks.

    BTW I don't mind having an ID *card* (I have lived in several countries where I have had to carry one). It is the database and these creeping features that are the problem.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    looks like

    IBM are going for reputational damage

  17. Daniel

    "We are in discussions with the financial services industry..."

    Oh, well, that's alright, then! The financial services industry has been doing such sterling work, of late, after all! Who better to ask about long term investments abd strategy?

  18. Justabloke
    Dead Vulture

    Note To Self...

    stop reading these bloody things, they are making your blood pressure go through the roof.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Fundamentally stupid approach to *anything*

    >""If we conclude that chip and pin is a key part of making it useful,"

    That is the most ass-backward concept of "planning" I have ever heard in my entire life.

    If you haven't figured out what an ID card is going to be useful for BEFORE YOU START, you are an utter incompetent. You don't just go and start a multi-billion pound government project with no idea what you're doing it for or why. Morons, lacking in even basic everyday common-sense.

    (Of course, they probably do have a lot of intended purposes in mind for the ID card, but they are all *so* malign that the Home Office is ashamed to mention them in public and figure that they'd look less bad by pretending to be stupid than wicked. Protip: you look like a bunch of utter shits both ways, chaps.)

  20. Paul
    Paris Hilton


    And what happens when the ATM swallows your card ?

    Paris coz ... do I have to spell it out ?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Any bank that participates in this..

    Loses my custom. But gets my piss through their letterbox.

  22. Kieron McCann
    Thumb Down

    You heard it from a Reg reader first

    congratulations to Reg reader 'The BigYin' who predicted this here :

    So now there will be an easy way to link banking transactions, purchases, international travel and(if you have an integrated Oyster Card) your public transport travel habits in one easy database. Roll in biometric info and you have fingerprints and probably DNA. How can people not see this?

  23. Dennis
    IT Angle

    Adequate Safeguards

    I see what is happening here. The Government cannot impose adequate safeguards so better to off load the responsibility to someone else. i.e. The Banks, Visa, Access, MasterCard and the good old Indian Call Centre.

    Because everybody knows a Chip and Pin is impossible to fool.

    Where is the IT Angle here. This is about Invasion of Privacy As Jaquai knows full well. Who would want their spending habits linked to their ID/job/second home.

  24. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    adding Chip and PIN to the ID card...?

    What next? Making it an Oyster Card as well? Adding RFID and putting scanners on every lamp post? Requiring all computers to have a card scanner? Having you key in your ID Number and PIN before you make a phone call?

    After all, if we can track and trace everyone's every move and download and e-mail and phone call that will make us *SO* much safer...

  25. DR

    chip and pin why?

    if the card contains biometric data then what's the point in chip and pin?

    all you need to do is replace he keypad from existing chip and pin readers with finger print scanners.

    why would you need a pin number to access a card that had biometric data on it, which should be many times more infallible than a four digit pin number...

    the four digit pin of the future would surely be, index, middle, ring and little finger?

    the idea of integrating chip and pin does set up a nasty picture of this ID card becoming a one size fits all card, where you are getting a passport, driving license, and bank card all in one small handy piece of plastic.

    but then also makes it so that loosing this card is literally loosing all of your cards in one unfortunate accidental loss.

    also what about people with multiple accounts/cards? if the chip and pin is for access to monetary funds as well, then which monetary funds? my current account? savings account, any one of a number of credit cards?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disclose your indentity

    "He said this could allow ID cards to be used in cash machines and help online consumers "assert their identities"."

    No what you're doing there is DISCLOSING your identity, so the scammer that grabs your chip and pin number with a fake reader also grabs your id details too.

    You can change your pin number but not your face.

    "Meanwhile, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced which companies have won contracts worth £650m for cards and biometric passports."

    Two US firm. So is that the plan, go work for US firms when she is booted out of power because nobody in the UK would hire her?

  27. ElFatbob

    Re: Tony

    'I read this that they are now trying to think of way to use the ID card to generate revenue. In other words, sell the data to the highest bidder.'

    Tony, i think it always was the intent to compell use of the card for business and sell off the information collected to the highest bidder. The legislation actively supports such a direction.

    And that's exactly the way the NHS system will go after a few years. They'll sell your medical data to the big companies.....don't think so?

    Well, they're happy enough to sell your DVLA data for less than a fiver why would any other system like this be different...

  28. John Smith Gold badge

    "potentially use it"

    So 5 years in they *think* it might be useful to put C&P on the card?

    Conspiracy theory. This was planned all along as an additional "incentive" to carry the card.

    Cockup theory. Senior civil servants really are clueless on IT and as they have hit resistance at every stage (Remember they were *supposed* to be rolling out to the *whole* country by now. that became every airport and now its 2, which BALPA & BAA still seem to be resisting) they are desperately scrabbling round to find something, anything which might add enough value to this

    I hear the sound of a "re-scoping" exercise in progress.

    Mine will be the one with a copy of the Prince 2 handbook in the pocket.

  29. Throatwobbler Mangrove

    "hey, asshole"

    "quotes the head numpty at the Passport Service as saying that chip and pin is "one way to help protect internet shoppers"."

    I am sure I'm not the only one who feels that the Head Numpty should stick to his goddamn day job and stop coming up with bright ideas for protecting internet shoppers. It's not his job, none of the retailers have asked for his advice, so STFU and get back to doing what you're supposed to be doing.

  30. spam

    stupid stupid stupid

    A national identity card has no use other than to collect vast amounts of surveillance information from the innocent (and to make their day to day lives more painful in the process).

    If you need a card for day to day life like getting on a bus or renting a video then a forgery or clone will do. I wager 99% of card identity 'checks' will not check biometric data and 90% of the remaining 1% will use biometric data from the card which isn't secure.

    Secure identity confirmation can only come from biometric checks against data held in the database (which still won't be that clever because the database will be full of garbage) and you don't need a card to access your claimed identity on the database just a key which may as well be your name and date of birth.

    The whole id card scheme is stupid stupid stupid. The database is something else. If you are going to have a database holding information on individuals (and we already have many) then biometric information confirming the association between the data and a physical body is perhaps not a bad thing (occasionally useful at least). The real issue is what goes into this national database and if you trust the state to hold, cross reference and trawl this information.

    I sure as hell don't want to get phone calls from an NHS Indian call center telling me my grocery spend at Tescos has not contained the recommend minimum 30% of fruit and vegetables and we have booked an appointment with an NHS wellbeing officer to discuss the matter (and failure to attend may result in the refusal of future medical treatment). Politicians are complete twats, you give them the means and shit like this will happen.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chip and PIN?

    Hands up anyone who can see the new security loophole.

    We've gone from iris recognition to facial recognition to fingerprints (sort of) and now we're putting our faith in four numbers from 0 to 9?

    If a PIN is all that's required to access *any* part of the ID card system then the system is compromised as useful functionality will be obtainable by using easily forged chip and PIN cards.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Chip and PIN and Internet Shopping

    For those sceptical about how chip and PIN and ID cards could possibly work with internet shopping, you might like to look at NatWest's card reader:-

    While this is for online banking, it gives a good idea of what the government might have in mind. NatWest also have a nice demo (though it's Flash):-

    If you think about it, it's a way of getting you, the user, to act as a kind of secure channel for the government to use to access your own ID card. And with these mysterious security codes, what it is you're actually conveying can even be secret from yourself. Isn't that beautifully Orwellian?

  33. Tony


    "i think it always was the intent to compell use of the card for business and sell off the information collected to the highest bidder."

    Possibly, possibly not - I don't think that they can see that far ahead. But I'm sure that they knew there were other things that they could do later, they just weren't totally sure what they would be.

    "They'll sell your medical data to the big companies.....don't think so?"

    Trust me - I KNOW they would. Particularly if there is a brown envelope with cash, or the chance of a directorship after they leave parliament.

  34. Steve Glover

    Chip'n Pin?

    Wasn't All Fools' Day last week?

  35. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Scope creep.

    I remember listening to a House of Lords debate on the ID card. There were strong feeling from the opposition and the cross-party benches that the ID database would suffer scope creep, because it allowed the legislation to extend the database to be passed by statutory instrument rather than having it debated in parliament.

    This has always worried me, and now it seams to have been worth worrying about.

    I endorse a comment above. I don't mind carrying ID if it actually helps me prove my identity. I just don't want it to be used to track my activities. Not that I do anything illegal, but....

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "So the project is behind schedule and they are now thinking of changing the scope of the project. This factor has been identified by various bodies / committees etc over the years as one of the primary reasons a project will fail."

    Fail, you say? What glad, sorry, sad news.

  37. Steve B

    Don't use NAT West as a reference.

    As a "soon to be ex" Nat West customer, I have the card reader. Whilst it is a good idea, it is not implemented well and most of the internet validation is done by password still. Even on line banking with Nat West is non standard over the use of the card reader.

    If you want to transfer money out, go ahead, but if you want to change a standing order get the card reader out! Even with all that they still can send out bits of paper to sign....! So good ideas are limited by poor application.

    Somewhere along the line an ID card probably seemed a good idea, but due to the problems of application, it will never fly as intended and will just end up costing us more money that we no longer have.

    How can the government afford to continue the scheme when the country is bankrupt?

  38. John Smith Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    So roughly speaking

    They issued 50% of the number th planned to issue in the time scale they allowed themselves with the resources they had. And the whole amount is 0.06% of the whole UK population.

    But wait. This is the semi-dry run. Things will be better in the main event they say.

    I've a better idea. Let us ditch the main event.

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