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LSE report on ID cards

The likely cost of rolling out the UK government’s current high-tech identity cards scheme will be £10.6 billion on the ‘low cost’ estimate of researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), without any cost over-runs or implementation problems. Key uncertainties over how citizens will behave and how the scheme will work out in practice mean that the ‘high cost’ estimate could go up to £19.2 billion. A median figure for this range is £14.5 billion.

The LSE report The Identity Project: an assessment of the UK Identity Cards Bill and its implications is published today (27 June) after a six month study guided by a steering group of 14 professors and involving extensive consultations with nearly 100 industry representatives, experts and researchers from the UK and around the world. The project was co-ordinated by the Department of Information Systems at LSE.

The LSE report concludes that an ID card system could offer some basic public interest and commercial sector benefits. But it also identifies six other key areas of concern with the government’s existing plans:

  1. Multiple purposes

  2. Will the technology work?
  3. Is it legal?
  4. Security
  5. Citizens’ acceptance
  6. Will ID cards benefit businesses?

To read the full text visit here. Also, you can download the executive summary of the report here and a full text (300 pages) here.

Ideal Government blog is providing a discussion space for the LSE identity project as well as for the topic of Identity cards in the UK in general. Well worth a trip over there…

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