Fri, Feb 6th 2009 7:59am
The British government's plans to introduce national ID cards that store biometric information about people have been causing controversy for some time. The first batch of the cards are now being issued to foreign nationals in the country, but Silicon.com has discovered that nobody has the equipment to read them. Neither police nor immigration officers, or any governmental body, has the proper readers to access the fingerprint information stored on the cards (which is perhaps why they've issued cops with portable fingerprint readers). Some people will probably argue that since the info on the cards can't be read, there's no privacy threat. Of course, all this says is that the government doesn't have any readers, but what about other folks? The recent story about the guy in San Francisco who was able to read RFID-enabled American passports and drivers' licenses with $250 worth of gear he bought on eBay highlights that just because the authorities that issued the cards can't read them, it's still possible that others can.
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