No2ID steal home secretary’s fingerprint
Anti-ID card campaigners have stolen the fingerprints of home secretary Jacqui Smith.
An activist, who wishes to remain anonymous, attended Ms Smith’s speech at the Social Market Foundation yesterday, where the home secretary announced a pilot project of ID cards for two airports’ security workers.
No2ID national coordinator Phil Booth told politics.co.uk: “He kept a beady eye on her glass of water throughout the speech then at the end of the event he nabbed it.”
The group then took the glass to an undisclosed location and worked on solidifying the print.
Fingerprints consist primarily of sweat and oil, so they degrade very quickly. The group used the active ingredient in super-glue to turn the fat in the fingerprint into a solid white deposit.
This transforms a barely visible fingerprint into a permanent white mark.
No2ID said the action shows how easy it is to steal someone’s identity, and how much easier it will be to do so once the government rolls out its ID card programme.
The government is understood to be using fingerprints as the sole biometric standard on ID cards. Rumours from party officials that other forms of biometric information, like iris scans, would be included on the cards are flatly refuted by No2ID.
“They’re using fingerprints as the sole biometric standard,” Mr Booth said.
“You cannot take anything that the Home Office say about the technology as being real until they give you a precise specification of what they’re doing and you check it out with actual experts.
“They just talk absolute twoddle. They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to biometrics.”
A UK border agency spokeperson told politics.co.uk fingerprint theft did not threaten the ID card scheme.
“No one can take someone fingerprints and use them as their own in the same way a fraudster might use someone pin or forge their signature,” the spokesperson said.
“A copy of fingerprints cannot be used to enrol on the national identity scheme. Enrolment will be supervised by trained staff using sophisticated technology to spot so called ‘fakes’. We’ll not rely on biometric alone.”
Mr Booth told politics.co.uk it was the third attempt he was aware of to steal Ms Smith’s fingerprint, although many anti-ID card actions take place without the knowledge of No2ID.
The action follows similar moves in Germany where a group called Computer Chaos Club succeeded in stealing the fingerprint of the country’s interior minister.