Saturday, August 06, 2005

UK vital statistics sends digitization of identity documents to India

Government authorities in the UK are looking to digitise birth and death records to, among other things, produce a database to verifty passport applications. The job has been oursourced to Siemens Business Services, which will offshore a large portion of the data entry work to India. The government is anticipating privacy-related questions and says they are taking proper precautions:

ONS sends all our identities to India | The Register

"...But how secure is it to send all the documents with which we can prove our identities offshore to be processed? Do we need to worry about identity theft?

Codling told us: "Simply mentioning records and personal identity in the same sentence as India has sparked a fairly predictable debate in the press. The difference is that this is a large public sector deal, rather than a large private sector company, such as a bank.

"The ONS has been at pains to point out the security precautions it is taking. The workers won't be able to take laptops or mobile phones into the rooms where they are working with the data, for instance. They'll be working at dumb terminals with no internet access," he said.

Codling argues that there is no evidence to suggest India is any less secure than any other country. "This is about perception of risk, rather than actual risk," he concluded....

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