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Biometric passports not secure – another blow for ID cards Nov 17

theguardian, working with No2ID, have carried out an excellent investigation into the new “more secure” biometric passports, of which three million are already in circulation. These passports contain information on RFID chips – entirely unnecessary for a valid passport – from which a hacker can extract your biometric information, making it possible to clone the information into a forged passport. So much for security.

Compare the reactions. Nick Clegg:

“Three million people now have passports that expose them to a greater risk of identity fraud than before. We need an urgent redesign of the biometric passport and a recall of all insecure passports once a new protected design is available. In the interim the government should provide commercially available RFID-shields for passports to those with the insecure design.”

The Home Office:

“This doesn’t matter.”

And these people want us to trust them with our biometric data on a giant national database.

While we’re talking about civil liberties, here’s an excellent quote about 90-day internment from today’s Telegraph via Radio 4’s newspaper review:

Habeas corpus is a fundamental part of the British constitution. The liberty of subjects must not be subordinated to the preferences of a prime minister, however trustworthy, or to the convenience of police forces. Mr Blair sometimes acts as if being locked in a cell for 13 weeks was equivalent to waiting for holiday snaps to come back from the developer.

2 Responses

  1. 1

    What I liked most about this story was John Humphrys’ introdcution for the No2ID spokesman on this morning’s Today programme, in which he mis-read the organization’s name as “Number Two ID” (only to be swiftly corrected by said spokesman).

    “Ah, that makes more sense,” he said.

    Actually I was quite liking the image that Humphrys’ version projected of the UK government’s biometric ID plans as a big steaming pile of Number Two… 🙂

  1. […] Away from the celebration of blogs though. It turns out that biometric passports can be hacked. Who didn’t see that one coming?! Will Howells compares Nick Clegg’s response to the news to that of the Home Office. Meanwhile, Garry Smith has a cheeky suggestion about what we should use biometric identifiers on the National Identity Register for. […]