The controversial ID card system may not offer many tangible benefits to employers and could even lead to greater legal difficulties, despite the huge projected costs.
Paul Carratu, UK president of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) said the introduction of ID cards, which has just been given the green light by Parliament, wouldn’t offer employers any major benefits over the current system.
Robert Bond, a partner at law firm Faegre & Benson said compulsory ID cards, which will cost 30 each, could bring greater legal risks or unwanted responsibilities for employers.
“The downside is the additional responsibility that comes with managing the data. If employers are eventually expected to handle this information it could lead to greater legal problems.
“There’s also a question of unforeseen responsibility for employers.
“Wherever there is a technology pipe for personal information there’s a bigger risk of it being lost, misappropriated or hacked into,” he added.
IT firm Microsoft has warned that the system is flawed and may even lead to more fraud because so much personal information would be stored in one place. The company has now set out its concerns to the Home Office, claiming many other IT experts have similar fears.
Alexandra Kelly, an expert on applicant vetting at screening company Powerchex said the scheme would only provide similar levels of protection as the current system and that a European-wide electronic database would be far more effective.
“The ability to identify candidates electronically across the EU is far more important to employers, because it can be used in several ways. The Financial Services Authority uses similar technology to prevent money laundering and I think this would be far more effective,” she explained.
However, the system is expected to vastly improve the speed and efficiency of the current Criminal Records Bureau checks and will now be scrutinised by the House of Lords.