ID Cards: Towards Procurement and Implementation

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ID Cards: Towards Procurement and Implementation was a one-day conference held in London on June 6, 2005. It was organized by the UK IT lobby group Intellect [1].

According to the advance publicity for the event: "Throughout the course of the day, members will receive an update on the latest developments from all the various stakeholders involved in taking this work forward. The morning session will concentrate on a discussion of the issues surrounding the legislative and delivery aspects of the programme, followed by delegates making their own presentations to an audience comprising of representatives from both the public and private sectors. The afternoon session will examine the impact of the programme on the user community. The day will culminate with an hour of 'speed-dating' where companies can network and discuss possible supply-chain opportunities. This day will provide members with a complete overview of all the potential benefits this programme could bring them." [2]



Conference speakers

According to the conference agenda, these were:

Although not mentioned in Intellect's conference publicity, the biometric middleware vendor Daon gave a presentation at the conference, according to Daon's own website [3].

Conference reports, which opposes the current form of the ID cards scheme on technical grounds [4], characterized those attending the event as "an audience of IT suppliers chomping at the bit for nuggets of information about when the first tenders might go out" [5].

Also according to, Home Office Minister Tony McNulty dismissed criticisms of the technical aspects of the scheme, saying "Once we get onto the procurement process and delivery neither the government nor the IT sector will be found wanting... I am still confident and robust in my view about the technology in view of the timetable we are talking about." [6] further reported that

"McNulty's speech also raised more questions about who will have access to the national identity register. He said the bill gives no power for any authorities to trawl the register but then admitted that the police will be able to conduct fingerprint matches against the ID database so long as they have first tried to do a match in the police fingerprint database. Confusion still remains about the scope of the ID card project despite McNulty claiming it will be just an identity register that holds basic personal information. 'The notion of a universal entitlement card to access any public service is certainly not the case,' he said. Yet he then went on to talk about the ID card and register being a hub surrounded by spokes of public and private sector services - including identity checks by employers and age checks by retailers - which could gradually be built up around it to 'meet a broader vision'." [7]

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