According to a press release issued at midnight, yesterday, regulations have been tabled before Parliament to allow a complete set of toe-prints to be added to the list of ID Card biometrics (see references below).
The Government also claim that the new biometric will allow for shorter queuing time at airport security as anyone who is requested to take their shoes off (e.g. when passing through airport security scanners or a whole body scanner) will be able to have their toe-prints checked and their identity confirmed as they stand. Evidently, biometric toe-print readers have already been successfully trialled using scanners at an International Airport near Doncaster.
Meg Hiller, the Minister responsible for the ID Card said: “This is an exciting development in biometric security and is another of our many final steps towards securing acceptance of identity cards in general. I think that most individuals will welcome the enhanced biometric security that ten-toe prints will bring, especially as ACPO and the head of MI5 have confirmed that collection of toe-prints will deter future shoe bombers like Richard Reid”.
Meg Hiller continued “The additional cost of this improved security is marginal. People when providing all ten fingerprints at enrolment centres will merely be asked to take their socks off”.
She continued: “we have checked with the Chief Medical Officer and he has confirmed that foot-dipping with disinfectants will only be needed if an ID Card enrolment centre is in an area designated under “The Export and Movement Restrictions (Foot-and-Mouth Disease) Regulations 2010”.
Meg Hillier added: “The collection of toe-prints helps end discrimination. Sadly, those individuals who have no hands cannot enjoy the full benefits of enrolling for an ID Card. Toe prints will allow them to participate fully in society just by putting their feet up on a scanner. To be fully biometrically inclusive with respect to those who have no hands or feet, we intend to hold talks with the Arm & Legless Society of Great Britain to see whether a DNA sample collection would be acceptable to them”.
Meg Hillier concluded by saying that all the benefits of an ID Card can be obtained “by literally playing footsie with your ID Card”.
References: to read the full press release (“Toe prints to enhance ID Card biometric security and ease airport security queues”, just follow the link Download HO_news_310310. The draft “Identity Cards Act 2006 (Toes Biometrics) Regulations 2010” modify “The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Prescribed Information) Regulations 2009”. The Regulations can be obtained from http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/draft/plain/ukdsi_9780111480434_en