Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 28th June 2005.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 3:31 pm, 28th June 2005

I am grateful, Mr. Speaker. I shall try to make progress and to give way only once more before I finish.

Our approach on the technology is straightforward. When the Bill has passed through Parliament, we intend to conduct trials of the technology, including small-scale tests, database tests and large-scale testing during roll-out. There has been a lot of concern about biometric identity cards, especially those using iris recognition, so I draw the House's attention to a report published earlier this week by the university of Cambridge computer laboratory. Its conclusion and recommendations indicate clearly and categorically:

"Iris recognition can be reliably used on a national basis in an Identity Cards scheme, including the capability for exhaustive iris code comparisons to detect multiple identities, if the decision policy employs a threshold criteria"— it then sets out some technical details. These issues can thus be resolved.

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Chris Lightfoot
Posted on 3 Jul 2005 12:27 am (Report this annotation)

The report to which Clarke refers is here:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/TechReports/UCAM-CL-TR-635.html
Note that it had not yet been published at the time of this debate.