Public opinion shift
Even in the UK, where public opinion has typically seen identity cards as an infringement of civil liberties, there now seems to be something of a sea change. In April 2004, a Mori poll of 1,000 people indicated that 80% backed a national ID card scheme. With public opinion growing, the UK government is now drawing up plans for a compulsory ID card combining biometrics with a smart card in an effort to tackle the identity fraud which costs the country UK£1.3bn each year. Trials involving 10,000 volunteers have been launched from the passport office in London and three other centres around Britain. The government is expected to publish draft legislation and a bill paving the way for the scheme before the next general election.
With the number of biometric and smart card schemes for national ID increasing, media and analysts are beginning to realise that biometric technology is a good tool in the fight for security and authentication. However, with the combination of biometrics and smart cards, organisations have access to a great tool that enables even higher levels of security while promoting privacy, portability and user convenience.
Gemplus are exhibiting at Infosecurity Europe 2006. Held on the 25th – 27th April 2006 in the Grand Hall, Olympia, this is a must attend event for all IT professionals involved in Information Security.
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