British ID card scheme to cost billions

The U.K's push to introduct biometric identity cards will cost more than $10 billion over the next 10 years.

David Meyer Special to CNET News.com

The U.K.'s identity card project will cost 5.4 billion pounds ($10.2 billion) to set up and run over the next 10 years, according to the British government. Home Office minister Liam Byrne announced the figure on Monday, establishing for the first time a governmental estimate for what will be one of the world's largest IT schemes.

The cards will store biometric data, a feature which will be introduced in passports from 2008, Byrne said. These data include fingerprint, iris and facial-recognition information. From 2010, anyone applying for or replacing a passport must also receive an ID card, although the government will have to pass another law to make them compulsory for all citizens. Click here for the full story at ZDNet UK.

David Meyer reported for ZDNet UK in London.