U.S. Wants Electronic Component of British ID Cards to be Compatible With American IDs


The United States wants Great Britain’s proposed identity cards to have the same microchip and technology as the ones used on American identification cards, according to a report in the British newspaper The Independent. The aim of getting the same microchip is to ensure compatibility in screening terrorist suspects. But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic.

Michael Chertoff, the newly appointed U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security, has already had talks with the British Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, and the Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, to discuss the matter.

Chertoff told The Independent that it was vital to seek compatibility, holding up the example of the “video war” of 25 years ago, when VHS and Betamax were in fierce competition to win the status of industry standard for video recording systems.

“I certainly hope we have the same chip, it would be very bad if we all invested huge amounts of money in biometric systems and they didn’t work with each other,” he said.  “Hopefully, we are not going to do VHS and Betamax with our chips. I was one of the ones who bought Betamax, and that’s now in the garbage.”

A bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bush in May now require all Americans to have a national ID card that includes a yet to be determined electronic component.

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.

A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!

Get Our Newsletters