Thursday, September 03, 2009


The Last Enemy was shown on BBC last year. The series was based in the near future in which a system known as Total Information Awareness tracked everyone's movements and held the minutest detail of everyone's life in a stack of databases.

One aspect of policing, in which all policemen seemed to be armed and dressed as paramilitaries, was the hand-held ID card reader. Anyone could be stopped and asked to insert their ID card into such a reader and the face and details of the holder of the card appeared on the screen of the reader.

Well now it appears that such sci-fi is about to become reality.

And it also appears that there is urgency in introducing such a system even though the alleged idea of the ID card is to enhance access to public services. If so, what the hell are the Met expecting for them to be asking for such technology?



Met Police wants handheld ID card readers

Ian Grant
11:29 27 Aug 2009

The Metropolitan Police is looking for suppliers of portable biometric identity card readers.

A tender notice published in the Official Journal of the EU said the Met was looking to award a three-year framework agreement to supply, support and integrate handheld mobile identification units (MIUs).

The deal would cover all UK police forces, the Serious & Organised Crime Agency, UK Borders Agency, HM Revenue & Customs, Home Office, Ministry of Defence, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and related agencies.

The unit must be able to capture and display the information held on microchips and machine readable zones in passports, bank cards, ID cards, credit cards and other identification documents.

It must be able to capture one or more of 2D or 3D facial images, fingerprints and irises. It must also provide secure data communications across a secure police gateway.

There may be requirements to expand the capabilities of the devices during the contract term, the notice said.

The framework agreement will be for three years with an option to extend for a further two years.

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