21 October 2005

Privacy: Microsoft's Jerry Fishenden condemns ID Card Plans

Microsoft has risen considerably in my esteem since I read in vnunet.com that its national technology officer Jerry Fishenden has criticized HMG's plans to introduce identity cards (see "Microsoft slams UK ID card database, Central database could lead to 'massive identity fraud").

According to the article Mr Fishenden described the government's current plans for a centralized database with lots of information on everyone as a mistake. He added that it could lead to massive identity fraud. Rather than centralizing, data should be dispersed. In Fishenden's words:
"Any ID system needs only to keep information that is appropriate to a particular search in one location. That way you reduce the impact of loss or theft by decentralising the data."
The article claims that the ICT experts the Home Office have been consulting have not really been speaking their minds and that his views are echoed by the BCS.

I'll think twice before switching to Linux for the moment.

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1 comment:

James Sutherland said...

Well, Microsoft should know about the pitfalls of centralised identity databases, thanks to their own Passport...

They do have a point, though. While there are some potential positive features to an ID card, the government's current plans seem very poorly thought out.