Scribblings Resurrection

How can I prove who I am?

Sunday, 25 April 2004

Putting aside the civil liberties arguments for the moment, huge though they are, there is something which bothers me about the whole idea of the identity cards which the increasingly strange David Blunkett is proposing to introduce in the UK.

The current proposal is that the card will hold biometric data such as fingerprints and iris scans. I’m not questioning, for the moment, whether these things are unique although there have been questions about fingerprints especially when used in this way.

What bothers me is that, although the card may prove that I am the person whose data is held on the card, how am I to prove that I am who I say I am at the time the data is recorded? Where is that proof to come from?

Presumably, I’ll have to nip down to some little biometric measurement booth somewhere to have the data recorded. What sort of ID will I have to take with me to prove who I am at that point?

If the ID which I take with me already proves who I am then why do I need an ID card? If it doesn’t then the ID card is no more reliable as a proof of my identity than the proof of ID I used to acquire it.

Posted 25 April 2004, 01:43 BST