UK government’s highly ambitious National Identity Scheme has inched a step closer to implementation, after the government penned deals, worth £650 million, with CSC and IBM for providing the necessary components for identity card systems as well as updating passport systems.
The new agreements will replace the erstwhile passport application processing deals, and will include developing a database of fingerprints and photographs to create new identity cards.
CSC has won a contract worth whopping £385 million for revamping the application and enrolment system, which will process all passport and ID card applications, enhance background checking, as well as enable people to apply online.
Under the new deal, in which CSC replaces Sagem, Siemens, ATOS, and other suppliers, it will also revamp various telephony and IT systems at the Identity and Passport Services (IPS).
On the other hand, a £265 million has been inked with IBM to create and run a database for facial biometrics and fingerprints for ID cards and passports.
In addition, the government further estimated that it will spend around £3.5 billion in upgrading the passports and rolling out identity cards over the next ten years, with ID cards alone will cost around £1.2 billion.
“These contracts bring ID cards and more secure British passports a step closer, taking advantage of the best technology available to bring real benefits”, Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith claimed.
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The ID Card system is costing the taxpayers billions of pounds with no real value to the general public. It is likely that the cards will be hacked fairly soon after they are released and one of the main reasons for deploying those cards in the first place - combating crime and terrorism - doesn't even hold ground.