By Nick Heath, 17 March 2010 16:44
The government is considering introducing a new generation of ID cards for British citizens in 2012, complete with a raft of new features.
More than 7,000 ID cards have been issued to British people since the UK cards were made available in November last year, starting in Manchester before rolling out across the North West and to select groups across the UK.
The proposed upgraded cards would be issued from 2012, when ID cards will be made available to everybody living in the UK.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Social Market Foundation earlier this week, Bob Carter, public key infrastructure and encryption expert for the ID cards scheme at the IPS, told silicon.com that the first generation card "is a tactical card that we have put out very quickly.
"The strategic card has a 2012 launch when all of the main things are going to happen. That's when you will find more features in the product [card]."
Existing British citizen ID cards are designed to simply verify someone's identity using a government issued card reader, a device which reads the biographic information and the digital photo and two fingerprints stored on the ID card's embedded RFID chip, and allows an official to check those details against the person presenting the card.
The proposals currently under consideration could potentially see ID cards used to perform new tasks - such as authorising online transactions using chip and PIN and verifying the holder's identity over the internet - which are not possible with existing British ID cards today.
Among the various technical improvements being looked at...