The man heading the national ID card scheme PASS has criticised a new survey that claims just 4% of young people would use the scheme.
A poll of 1,200 16 to 20-year-olds also found 71% had never heard of PASS.
The survey was conducted by technology firm Clarity Commerce, which has been involved in CCTV-based systems for avoiding underage sales in Holland.
PASS chairman Robert Humphreys said: “This alarmist and illiterate announcement appears grossly to overstate the problems in order to advance the commercial interests of the company.
“The PASS system is relatively simple, low cost, effective and appropriate to the task it addresses. We have seen no robust evidence suggesting that more costly and complex intrusive measures are called for.”
Clarity Commerce said the survey shows ID schemes have “had their day”. “While the PASS scheme no doubt has its merits, results prove ID cards on their own just do not work.”
The poll says 45% admit to asking an older sibling or friend to buy them alcohol.
In addition, 78% of over-18s admit they’ve lent their IDs to children to get into a club and 27% to get into a pub.
One in five has lent their ID to under-18s to buy alcohol. The same proportion of under-18s has bought fake ID over the internet to buy alcohol.