back to article Border agency to start fingerprint checks

Fingerprint checks on foreigners at border controls will begin at the end of November, says the UK Border Agency. In addition to usual checks at UK border controls, from 30 November 2009 overseas nationals arriving in the country will have their fingerprints scanned. All passengers with biometric UK visas, entry clearances …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How did people in London apply ahead of time

    Given this "The first identity cards were introduced for foreign nationals living in Britain in November 2008. Citizens living in Greater Manchester will be able to apply for an card on a voluntary basis later in 2009, and they will become available to the wider population in the North West by early 2010. We will make the cards available to the full population from 2012."

    How did people in London apply, indeed were can they?

    But I do find it extreemly unerving that they aint been checking people's comming and going and only started taking fingerprints, something that the police have for many many years already proven is a good way to identify people. Indeed I think a nightclub bouncer of the 80's period was more effective than our border patrols :(.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Does this apply to EU citizens? or just non-EU (except Swiss and Israelis of course)?

    Time for a session dipping my fingers in bleach - should dry them out sufficiently to distort the fingerprint. Either that, or something Seven-esque...

    (logo shows my displeasure, not have my fingerprints scanned)

  3. Clint Sharp
    Paris Hilton

    I smell f**king huge FAIL..

    We could reasonably say the population of the UK is around 62 million given that we're showing a growth of around half a million a year and we were at 61.4 million last year.

    Let's be generous here and say it's 60 million, out of that 60 million probably 15 million are children, again a generous asumption so that leaves 45 million adults. Guesstimate 5 million people who aren't entitled to a UK ID card, 40 million of us poor fools left.

    Out of 40 million, 1107 voluntarily applied?

    Ignoring the fact that the majority of them would be air side workers who 'voluntarily' chose to keep their jobs, let's be generous again and pretend that a solid 2000 people applied, turned up for appointments and paid the ransom fee, that makes the percentage of people who wanted a card enough to actually get one 0.005% of the population.

    By my reckoning, that makes each card cost 9 million quid each! (assuming the scheme cost 18 Billion so far)


    Of course, the flaw in my logic is that I forgot to take off the price of the card so it's an artificially inflated cost per card, 60 quid makes a huge dent in the 9 million..

    Perhaps they could issue a Platinum ID card or, a Centurion card, it's already one of the most exclusive clubs in the UK...

    Paris, I know who she is, no need for an ID card.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    IPS role "Clarifed"

    Now. After how long?

    Would that clarifcation been better done at the *start* of this project. So *they* knew what theyr'e supposed to be doing

    And 749 enrollees is 0.044% of the population of Greater Manc.

    The real level of people who want to have the *lifetime* obligation of telling the state exactly where they live, who with, what ID documents they have (other than the card) and of course their fingerprints and picture taken.

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Infallible Biometrics?

    So the expensive biometrics which cannot be deceived need fingerprints to support them?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Greater certainty?

    A greater belief of certainty, maybe, but the greater the belief, the more likely it is false. And as anybody with a grounding in security principles will tell you, a false belief of security is worse than no security. Don't believe this random AC? Look around for the _Snake Oil FAQ_.

    Once you've done that, look around for the differences between traditional "rolled" fingerprints admissible in court of law, and the "flat" digital fingerprints taken for the purpose of "biometric identity". And after that, consider that easily stolen fingerprints cannot easily be replaced.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Can any one tell me ...

    What problem they are trying to solve here ?

  8. zenkaon

    very popular then

    "1,107 people had voluntarily applied for identity cards" - from a population of over 61m.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i.e. swapped the face check for a fingerprint one

    You know those fingerprint readers, the ones we don't use for any security purpose in the real world at all. Well you've just installed them at borders.

  10. McMoo

    Do we want to be hated as America?

    I thought these tactics used by the USA were universally recognised as discouraging tourism and encouraging a loathing of the country.

    Are we determined to become like the USA at any cost?

    This sort of crap makes me ashamed to be British.

    1. Graham Marsden

      But what about the yanks...?

      I have often thought about visiting America, however I have no intention of ever visiting it until they stop treating me as a terrorist suspect simply for wanting to go there.

      The question is will Merkins visiting the UK be required to give these details and, if not, why not (or is it just another one-sided treaty that means we dance to their tune?)

  11. Gordon Pryra

    No Comment

    The numbers speak for themselves

    This is just a +1

  12. Fred 1

    Waste of time

    Is there a massive problem with identity fraud at the border?

    How many bad guys or asylum seekers will be thwarted by this measure?

    Only the very dumbest.

    Oh no, they are taking fingerprints, I'll just go and sit in the back of that truck and cry.

    Oh look, I've just crossed the border anyway.

    An expensive and intrusive measure which will nonetheless be completely ineffective.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I take it all back

    this ID card scheme is obviously set to be a ripsnorting success and a lasting legacy of this Government

  15. Anonymous Coward

    What about EU nationals?

    Hmm, isn't UK like part of EU? What about EU nationals (=passengers with identity cards for foreign nationals also applies to EU?). I am a foreign national with foreign ID card (issued by my country), which I can use to travel to every EU country (including UK) and beyond.

    I can not find any information on official pages (= internal/foreign ministries, Embassies of UK & my country)

  16. The Original Ash

    I want to be on that list

    '...2,445 people in Greater Manchester have "expressed an interest in continuing to be updated about the National Identity Service via the Early Interest Website"'

    Yeah. They, like myself, want to know WHEN IT HAS BEEN SCRAPPED.

  17. Neal 5

    Two stories in one

    The first part of the story is probably a good idea, but sounds a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, perhaps as the uptake increases then finding the horse again will become easier. Which leads me nicely into the second part of the story.

    "....... 2,445 people in Greater Manchester have "expressed an interest in continuing to be updated about the National Identity Service via the Early Interest Website". 749 Mancunians have made an appointment to enrol for an identity card out of 1.7 million who are eligible....."

    At the rate of 749 per 1.7 million of the populace, if my maths is anywhere near, then the poulace being estimated at 60 million, means approx 26500 people will be in possion of valid ID cards in the entire country, methinks the prospects are not good for the scheme.

  18. teacake

    So that's...

    ...a take up rate of 0.04% so far? Those Mancs really are keen, aren't they?

  19. TeeCee Gold badge

    Those 2,445 people.

    I think some rewording is in order:

    "2,445 journalists and bloggers want us to send our PR puff directly to their mailboxes so that they can take the piss more effectively".

    There. That's better.

  20. Paul Hates Handles


    Guten tag. Papers, fraulein?

    When is it going to be too much? Laws to protect us, no privacy to keep us safe, we're not a flock of sheep and the government aren't our shepherds.

    They're meant to run the country, not run the people.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    will this affect pasengers travelling across the actual border to Newry shopping??? I think not. are the dup gonna like this? I think not.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge


    Don't get yours today!

  23. Nomen Publicus

    Data leaking already?

    How exactly did Meg Hillier find out the locations of people who had applied? I thought that the data was supposed to held securely.

  24. Sir Runcible Spoon


    I heard some witch on the radio this morning saying that it was very popular with, and I quote, 'the young' - this seemed to be as a result a large number of passports being swept up nightly at the local nightspots and that 'the young' wanted a more 'portable and secure' means of proving their age.

    After all, there's no way you're going to lose your ID card is there, especially if a passport is so easy to lose?


  25. Captain TickTock

    @Chris G

    Erm, my understanding was that fingerprints ARE a form of biometrics...

    Have I missed something? Not yet having a biometric passport, I don't know what bio they measure

  26. MarkS

    Does anyone from Manchester...

    know anyone who has applied for the card? I certainly haven't.

    As for the fingerprints, what use are they going to be? "Sir, we can tell from our records that you have no rights to enter the country but, rather than deporting you straight away, we will allow you to enter and appeal until you get the answer you want. If that fails maybe a nice media campaign will help."

  27. JohnG

    Give immigration the finger

    These will be the fingerprints taken by a US company contracted to screen UK visa applicants at British embassies around the world .... Which finger should they be shown?

    If I apply for a new passport, I will have to supply biometric data (fingerprints). If I apply from outside the UK, does this mean the same US company will be taking my fingerprints? What safeguards are there that my fingerprints will not end up in some US government database?

  28. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down


    "What safeguards are there that my fingerprints will not end up in some US government database?"

    Given a US company managed to loose a hard drive of UK driving license candidates and the ID card system is being set up by IBM I would say "none."

    You might care to look up the details of the Patriot Act.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Early & often

    I think it is entirely understandable that some people are keen to get a genuine ID card as soon as they can - I imagine it will take a little time to work out how best to forge these things.

  30. ShaggyDoggy


    I have a biometric passport - got it last year - it has an RFID chip in the back.

    Unfortunately during the entire process of acquisition I didn't actually notice a single biometric measurement being taken.

    Oh wait ...

  31. Ascylto
    Big Brother


    It's time the supermarkets were brought in to offer ID Cards.

    We could get Tesco or Nectar points on the £30. We might even get 'loss leader' offers!

    They need all the help they can get.

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