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Microsoft exec: ID cards pose security risk

CNET News.com reports what we have knowns for some time…

Microsoft has warned that the U.K.’s national identity card plans pose a security risk that could increase the likelihood of confidential data falling into the hands of criminals.

It is frustrating that after months of debate, it is still news. I guess the real news is that it is Microsoft saying that. I particularly like this bit:

Jerry Fishenden, a top security and identity management expert at Microsoft, said that the British government’s current technology proposals are flawed. He also criticized other technology suppliers for failing to speak out publicly about their concerns for fear of damaging any future bids for part of the lucrative contract for ID cards.

So what are the 30 coins worth to a technology supplier, I wonder? But before we rejoice too much, Mr Fishenden is not on concerned about the issue of ID cards and biometrics in the first place, just about a more secure and efficient way of gathering and storing the data:

I have concerns with the current architecture and the way it looks at aggregating so much personal information and biometrics in a single place. There are better ways of doing this. Even the biometrics industry says it is better to have biometrics stored locally.

1 comment to Microsoft exec: ID cards pose security risk

  • Jason Litzenberg

    I live in the US where it’s to late to prevent the use of ID cards. Unfortunately this issue isn’t as benign as authorities would have you believe. Here in the states we have laws preventing illegal search, however we also have requirements here in California that any person over 18 must have a state ID on them at all times. Now although its illegal to search one for minding ones own business, it is not illegal for authorities to ask anybody to produce their ID at anytime. ID cards are, here at least a legal loop-hole which undermines the intentions of our founders, and undermines our freedom. In England It seems you face a similar problem which is; going in with the wrong intention. The Idea for an English national identity card is based in an irrational fear of the English people. In issuing an ID card to keep tabs on potential terrorists it is implied that anybody is suspect. Thus you’re not getting an ID for its practical application in daily life, however its application in an ongoing investigation. You sign away you’re freedom to make it easy for your government to maintain said freedom, all the while living as a suspect of an ongoing criminal investigation with no end in sight. What makes sense now could potentially come to be regret. Foresight has always been better than hindsight. This is an important time, and acceptance of such a drastic measure requires a certain level of trust in government on the part of the English people. It’s ironic that this decision is based in the lack of trust the English government feels for the people.

    I also feel it’s important to get back to the thread and pose that selling the identities and personal information of a nations people to Microsoft is the first instance of national ID cards allowing information to fall into the hands of the “wrong people”. It’s hard to remember; big as they’ve become Microsoft is still not a government office, but a private company. They’re a private company with an interest in National ID cards that has little to do with the safety of England.