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High street shops could collect ID card data

High street earmarked for recording identity data

A person cutting a credit card in half

High street shops may soon offer a service for people applying for identity cards and biometric passports that records their fingerprints and facial photos.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to meet with organisations interested in working with the Identity and Passport Service to offer customers the ability to record fingerprints and scan photographs in order to apply for an ID card or second generation passport.

Greater Manchester will be the first location for the National Identity Service. Residents can apply for an identity card there from this autumn – before ID cards are rolled out to the wider population in 2012. 

High street shops to collect data

The government said ‘trusted high street businesses’ are the best place for this data to be collected – comparing the process to the established passport photo machines.

It added that the chosen companies would operate under strict standards set by the Home Office. 

The Post Office, and trade bodies the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and Photo Marketing Association International (PMAI) are exploring how they or their members might provide the ‘biometric enrolment service’ to customers.


Jacqui Smith said: ‘While private companies will clearly benefit from the increased footfall from offering this service, their customers will benefit from being able to quickly provide their biometrics while they are out doing the shopping. 

‘With an identity card, people will be able to prove their identity quickly and conveniently while helping to protect themselves against identity fraud.’

You can learn some top tips on protecting yourself with our free guide to beating identity fraud.

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