Another Story From The Land Where Everything Is Possible

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 6, 2009
Updated • Dec 9, 2014

The favorite country of many for funny tech stories has to be the United Kingdom in recent time.

Government officials seem to lose confidential data all the time, be it in front of pubs or by selling it on eBay.

Well, the next too good to be true story is that they spend 4.7 Billion British Pounds for new biometric identity cards that contain additional information about every citizen including fingerprints, and facial scans. The funny part of the story begins now.

There is not a single card reader in Great Britain - with the exception of prototypes probably - that can read the new biometric cards. This essentially means 4.7 Billion pounds well spend on a piece of plastic that does not serve any other purpose than a standard old fashioned ID.

One would think that the production of card readers would be set to the highest priority. This is seemingly not the case as minister Meg Hillier mentioned that "there's no prospect in the immediate future for the government directing anybody [...] to buy those things".

Minister Hillier did point out that the British government will not direct anybody to purchase card readers in the near future. They do expect on the other hand that organizations will start buying card readers once a critical mass has been reached.

Identity minister Meg Hillier, ironically, had just told the site the previous week that the fingerprinting information was a "vital part" of the program as "fingerprint coded into the chip … links you to the card." Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling was quick to attack the floundering program. He states, "Once again ministers have shown that the ID card project is absolutely farcical. What is the point of spending billions of pounds on cards that can't be read in the UK?"

via Dailytech


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  1. Ed said on February 6, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Who is John Galt?

  2. Ganesh said on February 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    “the next to good to be true story” should be
    “the next too good to be true story”

    Took me a moment to digest it.

  3. Kip said on February 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    hmm….time for a nice cup of tea.

  4. Nikola said on February 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Holy Bejesus…

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