British MPs Warned of Counterfeit Risk with Id Cards

privacy       2004-02-03 
The introduction of compulsory ID cards would risk making the problem of identity theft worse, MPs were warned today.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas warned that the cards would be seen as a “gold standard” of identification, potentially attracting counterfeiters while giving society a false sense of security.

And errors by humans and computers could introduce mistakes into cards, with a serious impact on individuals, he said.

Existing databases, such as passport data and DVLA records of drivers, were so flawed that they would cause “a nightmare of problems” if they were used as a basis for the national identity register proposed by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

“If (the ID card) becomes the gold standard, as the passport is the gold standard at the moment, there are risks that it will attract the attention of counterfeiters,” said Mr Thomas.