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  • Under the National Identification System (NIDS), persons will have to give consent for their identity to be verified by the system when conducting business.
  • Programme Director of NIDS, Warren Vernon, said that adults will be required to provide consent for minors.
  • “Everything will be logged. For example, if you go to a bank, you must first give your consent, then a submission is forwarded to the National Identification and Registration Authority, when established. The moment that verification is done, it will be logged in the system and it will be protected and you will be notified,” he explained.

Under the National Identification System (NIDS), persons will have to give consent for their identity to be verified by the system when conducting business.

Programme Director of NIDS, Warren Vernon, said that adults will be required to provide consent for minors.

He informed that notification will be given through an online portal when personal information is verified.

“Everything will be logged. For example, if you go to a bank, you must first give your consent, then a submission is forwarded to the National Identification and Registration Authority, when established. The moment that verification is done, it will be logged in the system and it will be protected and you will be notified,” he explained.

Mr. Vernon was giving an update on NIDS at a recent JIS Think Tank.

He said separation of governance from the management of the information technology (IT) aspects of the system will ensure security in its operation.

“So, the people responsible for maintaining, installing, supporting and using the system will be separated from those persons who will monitor, set policies and notify the public about issues,” he pointed out.

“What the project team can guarantee is that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that this system is implemented to benefit the people of our country,” he assured.

Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, in her remarks noted that NIDS will help move Jamaica into the digital economy.

“The national identification (ID) is going to allow us to do business online in a more secure manner,” she said, adding that it will create more widespread access to financial institutions and government services.

She pointed out that NIDS will be particularly beneficial to youngsters, who now cannot get a national ID until age 18.

Under NIDS, children will be registered at birth and given a National Identification Number (NIN) and an identification card at age six.

“Youngsters leave high school with no basis to authenticate who they are until they reach 18 and can apply for a voter’s ID or a driver’s licence. What this does with that grouping, in particular, is lock them out of opportunities,” she argued.

Mrs. Lynch-Stewart noted that the national ID will also reduce the possibility of identity theft.

She explained that persons will be required to provide their name, address, sex, citizenship and marital status when enrolling for the ID.

Biometrics data to be inputted in the system include facial image, fingerprints, signature and eye colour. Where fingerprints are not available, an iris scan will be done. Provision of email addresses and telephone numbers will be optional.

Mrs. Lynch-Stewart said some voluntary information may also be provided for statistical purposes. The information, to include religion, blood type and employment, will not be linked to a person’s identity.

“We are not asking anyone to provide DNA, financial banking information or criminal record. Our NIDS database will be for identity verification and authentication only,” she noted.