17 APRIL 2004, Page 29

We must have ID cards From Jack Colson Sir: Peter

Hitchens's implication (`Contempt for liberty', 10 April) that terrorists will be able to fake any form of ID is wrong and therefore an unconvincing argument for not introducing ID cards.

The new ID cards, if introduced, will contain primary and secondary biometric data. Primary biometric data is obtained by measuring the distance between points on each person's face. As these measurements don't change throughout a person's life, they are a much more reliable means of identification than a passport photo. Secondary biometric data uses two characteristics that are even more difficult — or, as the Home Office would have it, 'near impossible' — to fake. It uses both retina and fingerprint scans, characteristics unique to each individual.

Ultimately, we must remember that the Home Office operates in our interests, to ensure our security and not to undermine our freedom. In times like these, when we are under threat from extremist terrorists who have little care for life or liberty, we must do all we can to hinder their activities.

Jack Colson

London Ni