November 01, 2005

Why the ID database will not work.

Neil Harding is still trying to defend ID Cards. There are lots of issues in this post but I will only go after one. In order to ensure that the database is accurate
Anybody who's worked in the information gathering business will know how important this is to accuracy. This vastly improves the accuracy of the system. Each entry will be carefully input by the same person dealing with the applicant face to face.
If they where going to properly interview everybody to get them on the system then that might solve accuracy problems.

But they won't.

There are 60,441,457 people in the UK, as was pointed out in his comments by STAG using the CIA world book as source. If we say that each inteview takes 30 minutes then as there are 525600 minutes in a year each year 17520 people can be interviewed, if they work 24 hours a day 365 days a year. At this rate it will take 3450 years to interview everybody in the country and get their details on the database. And since cards have to be re-issued every 10 years, or sooner to stay ahead of the counterfieters, there is an obvious problem here. Even if they only take 1 minute per interview (it would be hard to just get all of the biometrics down in that time) it will take 11.5 years to interview everybody. So to interview everybody in the country before the first card holders have to come back for a renewal they can spend less than a minute on each person. Not exactly exaustive, but very exausting for the clerks faced with it, with exaustion and time preassure leading to guess what? ... mistakes.


Blogger Andrew said...

I'm guessing they'll employ more than 1 interviewer, but Neil's assertion is still insane, because the presence of the interviewee does nothing at all to improve the typing skills of the data entry clerk.

3:55 pm  
Blogger chris said...

Probably, but it will still take over 30 million man hours to do a haft hour interview for everybody in the country. If data entry is £5 an hour (less than a building labourer) that is over £150 million over 10 years. The scheme will go over budget for implementation, since there initial estimates are artificially low anyway, so there is no way Gordon is going to let that go through considering how strapped for cash he already is. And as you say working at a poor wage, under preasure, with interviewing people that do not want to be there there will be many mistakes.

8:45 am  

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