back to article Ad 'urgently' seeks company to build national e-ID system

An intriguing, and slightly concerning, job ad has appeared on freelancing website People Per Hour, entitled: "URGENT!!! Delivery of a National e-ID System". The post is from an unidentified small IT consultancy which is submitting a bid to deliver a National e-ID system, including a biometric enrolment for all citizens and …

  1. monty75 Silver badge

    Looks like it's this one for Jamaica http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gJdZofJWqigJ:biddetail.com/global-tenders/biometric-tenders+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=ubuntu

    Cue the jokes:

    "My wife enrolled for a national biometric ID card"

    "Jamaica?"

    "No, she wanted one"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Could be Oman?

      As in Oman that was a cheesy joke.

      1. David Webb

        Oh dear, now we Cu Ba puns.

        1. m0rt Silver badge

          Don't be Si cily.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Seems some people are Russian to make a joke out of this.

            1. Spudley

              Watch out that you don't stretch the joke too far, in case Ukraine your neck.

              (and if you do, please don't Crimea River)

              1. wolfetone Silver badge

                Ireland that the hard way, never again!

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      I can't Bolivia had the nerve to post that!

      1. moiety

        I know that's what her ID says but Genoa?

    3. Pomgolian
      Coat

      Enough of the jokes

      It's clearly time to Finnish...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enough of the jokes

        No keep em coming. Its a slough joke day.

    4. kmac499

      You've all missed two proud nations much closer to home, that could be tooling up for an independent future. Yorkshire; oh and Scotland.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        You've all missed two proud nations much closer to home, that could be tooling up for an independent future. Yorkshire; oh and Scotland.

        And Cornwall!

        [1] I'd like to point out at this point that neither my wife nor I are Cornish. Her Dad was though and she was born in Plymouth, so close enough for Government work. We are both Celtiphiles too..

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Enrolling children

    They are already enrolled from a few weeks old - the new passports are biometric worldwide.

    The "age of 5" + 4 million is interesting as it is not something I can map to any Eu country (or developed country for that matter). They all already have enrollment from the moment of first passport application.

    1. Alumoi

      Re: Enrolling children

      Ireland anyone?

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Enrolling children

      Why would a child that is only a few weeks old need a passport?

      1. Paul Woodhouse

        Re: Enrolling children

        mine needed it to go half way across the world to visit his Grandma :p...

      2. Drat

        Re: Enrolling children

        "Why would a child that is only a few weeks old need a passport?"

        They generally don't like you taking babies/children out of a country if you can't prove you are the parent or guardian

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Enrolling children

          Ironically a form with signature verified against nothing is sufficient as a guardians blessing to let a child out of South Africa.

      3. wolfetone Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Enrolling children

        "Why would a child that is only a few weeks old need a passport?"

        In case they're a terrorist?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enrolling children

        What's amazing is not that babies can get passports, but that they're valid for so long - when they look nothing like the photograph a year later.

    3. ad47uk

      Re: Enrolling children

      That is if they have a passport.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Did it disqualify all the usual suspects...?

    Like BT, Capita and the rest? You know those that have frankly piss poor records of delivering Government IT Contracts?

    But more importantly, is the contract going to stop the inevitable feature creep that (un)civil servants have a habit of piling onto a contract...? You know the ones that totally bugger up any hope of the original project of ever delivering more than "Hello World" to the end user?

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Did it disqualify all the usual suspects...?

      There's an obvious way to get an excellent, well-tested ID system: buy a copy of the Estonian ID system, which seems to be generally regarded as best-of-breed.

      Then don't let ANYBODY 'adapt it to our needs' because, knowing our wonderful GDS and their pals, doing that will immediately convert it into a heap of steaming turds while at least doubling its cost.

  4. Solarflare
    Devil

    Looking at the UK site in the footnote:

    "If you don’t have any fingers you only need to have a digital photo taken of your face."

    Well, that's thoughtful of them!

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      biometrics edge cases

      1. Transplant from a donor who is already enrolled in their own right (a. donor is deceased b. donor is alive)

      2. Transplant from a donor who is not enrolled in their own right.

      Do you scrub the fingers from the donor record in 1.b (or 1. a). Do you have a fingers table with a relationship key to users? What if you don;t but hand transplants become more common?

      Reg commentards must be able to pose some other interesting questions for the spec drafters

      -->Thumb (but not fingers!) down for ID cards...

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Pirate

      And if the person doesn't have a face? What then?

  5. Buzzword

    Children's fingerprints

    Many schools use fingerprints as ID for paying for school lunch. This means kids avoid carrying cash or payment cards which could easily be lost or stolen by other kids; and it means those in receipt of free school meals don't stand out.

    1. Leigh Brown

      Re: Children's fingerprints

      Or.....you can say no and they get issued a pin. Apparently my kids can type their pin faster than the other kids read their fingerprints because it can take two or three goes to work. They have to provide pin as an alternative because some kids fingerprints are too hard to read apparently.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Children's fingerprints

      "and it means those in receipt of free school meals don't stand out."

      Except in thoe schools were the "freebies" have to go last. Yes, it does happen, and no, I have no idea who thought it might be a good idea or their reasoning behind it.

  6. nijam Silver badge

    > ... each person has only one trusted identity

    As an aside, I will observe that there are good reasons that people might want to have more than one trusted identity.

  7. welshie

    Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

    4 million is an rough estimate of non-British-but-otherwise-EU citizens that may be living perfectly legally in the UK that might end up having to apply for residency permits depending on how the Brexit negotiations go. It seems that the politicians pushing for Brexit have just realised that there are no accurate numbers, and to get accurate numbers will require some sort of census or audit.

    The number of people involved in doing this task will probably be more than there are EU civil servants.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

      If if is for EU citizens, adults will have an ID card/passport and the child's own country can handle first-time registration. Yes, even if the child is 30 and lived in the UK all their life and thought they were British or slipped through the net because the UK didn't implement registration for EU citizens.

      The UK doesn't need to register other countries' citizens if they needed a passport or ID card to get here in the first place. Why make it more costly and slow than it needs to be?

      1. monty75 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

        "Why make it more costly and slow than it needs to be?"

        You've obviously never worked in public sector IT.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

        So it seems I was wrong.

        Of course, ID cards through the back door. Why ever not?

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

      Makes sense with the timing.

      Some minister will want to know what's feasible or affordable so that they don't seem quite so dumb in the negotiations. So they ask a civil servant for some proposals.

      The Home Office's answer to everything is a National ID Database, so the civil servant who is given the research task just fills in the most recent estimate for the population of EU citizens in the UK and asks around the usual suspects for quotes/tenders.

      Some opportunistic company reckons it is worth a punt maybe hiring a few people so that they can claim to be ahead of the game if things come to fruition. So they post the ad.

      The exact requirements in the ad are therefore one company's guess based on one placeholder-proposal from one civil servant from a minister who is only asking because he hasn't thought about it carefully yet.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

      Surely, for the UK to track EU nationals visiting the country, you plug them into the system that tracks immigration and other visas. It might need to be scaled-up a bit, but that's all.

      We don't kneed a completely new system.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

        "We don't kneed a completely new system."

        Of course we do. It's the British way. And anyway, the Minister has a brother....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Might it be the proposed EU citizens registration for the UK?

          >Of course we do. It's the British way. And anyway, the Minister has a brother....

          Brother/sister/spouse/nephew/niece/object of attraction/silent partner in a consulting company.

          Broaden your horizons!

  8. Bibbit
    Facepalm

    Bodes ill...

    Looks like it is listed just under an advert asking for "skilled EU trade negotiators". A two year contact that could be extended indefinitely.

  9. MrXavia
    Alien

    Photos? Fingerprints? easily foolable!

    What we need a probulator for ID

  10. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
    Joke

    Capita

    Icon says it all

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    enrolling children's biometrics is completely and staggeringly outrageous

    glad you pointed a link to the good old gov.uk. This is exactly what our glorious democracy demands - fingerprints from 9 years old when applying for her passport. For their own protection, of course, what else?!

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