Government authorities in Cyprus appear to be preparing for the development of a digital ID program in the country, judging by a recent legislative change.
Writing for Cyprus Mail, lawyer Stefanos Kelelis takes special note of a recent amendment to the Civil Registry Law of 2002 (L.141 (I) 2002), which introduced provisions concerning electronic identity documents (or “EID”). According to Kelelis, the amended legislation establishes a framework encompassing an EID system that would enable individuals to verify their identities with certain authorities remotely.
This could apply not only to accessing government e-services, but also to private sector transactions such as accessing banking services.
The digital ID would be recognized not only within Cyprus but across all member states of the European Union. Adults holding Cypriot citizenship would be eligible to apply for the EID when it becomes available.
Notably, another condition for EID eligibility is that applicants must be in possession of a biometric ID card issued by the state, according to Kelelis. Cyprus had awarded a contract in 2019 to Veridos, a joint venture between Bundesdruckerei and G+D, to upgrade its biometric registration and e-document capabilities. The country went on to put new biometric ID cards in circulation the following year.
Cyprus’s newly amended legislation indicates that the proposed EID will be provided by a private company, and that this party would oversee the identity verification and authentication procedures that would be applied to EID applicants. The company will be required to verify applicant data with offices of the Civil Registry Department, and the entire procedure from application to issuance would take up to five business days.
While this legislative amendment is only a first step, it’s one that appears to set Cyprus on the same path toward digital – and perhaps, ultimately, mobile – ID upon which numerous other states around the world have embarked in recent months. Recent examples include Barbados, which announced plans for mobile ID cards in April, and France, whose President, Emmanuel Macron, signed a digital identity bill upon his re-election that same month.
Source: Cyprus Mail