Photo ID Professionals Ireland
Photo ID Professionals Ireland is an industry group formed to represent the views of the people that are gainfully employed in this industry in Ireland. Over 4,000 people are employed in this sector supplying over 1.2 million printed ID Photos in Ireland on an annual basis.
The group has been formed by a number of pharmacy groups and chemists, photographic shops, photographic equipment suppliers and photo booth operators.
The Government is introducing a new credit card style driving licence in January 2013 and sought a service provider to fulfil this brief through EU Tender process. In November 2012 it was announced that SGS have been awarded the tender which includes the capture of each individuals photograph for their driving licence on-site at one of SGS’s locations to be set up around Ireland by September 2013.
SGS will not accept any photograph other than those captured on their premises by their machines even though they had the option to scan photographs brought in by applicants. They did not present this as an option in their tender which was accepted by Government.
There are some 2,000 retail points offering printed Photo ID solutions today across pharmacies, photographic shops and photo booths.
Over 4,000 people are employed in this already hard hit sector. €8.9 million of revenue in the sector will be lost annually if printed Photo ID is not retained.
The solution is simple. Hard copy printed ID should be mandated by Government as the method by which Photo ID images are to be collected. The capture of Photo ID has never been a Government Service nor should it be. We are not against any competition in the private sector but if the Government were to take over this service it would not be a level playing field.
The use of scanners to capture printed photo ID images is simple and cost effective. This is the standard agreed already for France and recent developments in Belgium will more than likely follow the same route.
A similar threat to the printed photo ID market also exists in the UK and a very active campaign by the photo marketing association (PMA) has taken the issue to a debate in the House of Commons. The PMA are currently engaged in dialogue at the highest level with ministers in the UK government.
This link to a Channel 4 news segment details the UK campaign to retain printed photo ID within the private sector. Why should Ireland follow this path when an existing low cost solution is already available?
Photo ID Professionals Ireland believes that a pragmatic, cost-effective solution is possible through the continued co-existence between the government and private sector printed photographic network.
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