U.K. identity card program faces technical hurdle

The United Kingdom's $10 billion National Identity Card program is facing an additional hurdle with a warning from the government's science advisory group that fingerprints collected from people over age 75 might not be of sufficient quality to use in the system, according to U.K. media reports.

The Biometric Assurance Group, in a report leaked to the media, said it may be too difficult and expensive to obtain good quality fingerprints from elderly people,
according to The Guardian of London. Some of the problems can be overcome with additional technology, which would add costs to the program.

The U.K.'s national identity card system, which is one of the highest-profile biometric contracts in the world, is expected to roll out as early as 2010.

Among the likely bidders are Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp., Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp., IBM Corp., Steria PLC and Thales Group.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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