Friday, April 16, 2004

BBC - CRB brands innocent citizens criminals

Our beloved Criminal Records Bureau has apparently owned up to incorrectly listing some 193 persons as convicted criminals, usually by mis-associating applicants with similar names to criminals on the police national computer. This is fairly typical of David Blunkett's brilliant idea, which famously couldn't actually check criminal records much and took three months to process my own CRB clearance. But what lends it significance is, of course, the Home Office bureaucrats' messianic confidence that they could make an ID card system flawlessly efficient. They deny that it would be difficult, or that anyone might be falsely accused. On this showing, it should be blindingly obvious that the original data for such a system is riddled with nonsense - about 3.6 million wrong or missing records (link to report, Spyblog article), not to mention the processing of it. And don't even think about the government's traditional cluelessness about anything to do with IT.

No surprises, though, I suppose - the people who fucked up the CRB will be in charge of ID cards!
"John Denham did not seem to impressed with the assertions from Katherine Courtney (Director Identity Cards Programme) about the Office of Government Commerce Gateway Review process (which does not officially start until January ) with respect to this ID Card project. He noted that these were the same people who signed off on the disastrous and much less ambitious Criminal Records Bureau project.

Katherine Courtney also seemed to utter the words "literally impossible to forge" (which we will check with the transcript), which is a statement that is only ever heard from the Home Office, and not even from the most eager and enthusiastic sales people from the biometric industry itself."

Fills you with confidence.

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