Identity Cards Bill
Lord Crickhowell (Conservative)
The Minister will probably say that the Government are aiming to work on a combination of different identifications, but that still raises the issue as to what happens if someone fails to qualify under any one of them and is therefore rejected. I have in front of me the report of the ID technology advisory group, which reported to EURIM and gave on the whole an encouraging report on what the Government are attempting. But on this subject, the group pointed out:
"Facial recognition is rated as 'Medium-Low' stability. Depending on the type of facial recognition employed, a system may be better able to cope with the ongoing facial changes we experience over a lifetime.
The human face is subject to change due to a whole variety of reasons, such as ageing, skin tone, religious attire, illness, wearing glasses, facial hair and expression, all of which in terms of access control could cause 'nuisance' problems and could require either a database with several images of the same subject and/or a regularly updated file image.
Lighting levels, weather conditions, angle of image and degree of subject co-operation will also have an effect on the performance of the biometric system".
That is the view of what is probably one of the most highly qualified groups of technologists that has given advice. My concern is not so much that we won't have a system that, if taken together, will satisfactorily identify people; my concern is that if one item of your image sends up a negative on the screen, you will be in the most awful trouble. So in view of that technical assessment of the facial identification, how do the Government propose to overcome the problem?