Yet another national government is signaling its intent to launch a digital ID system for citizens.
The Maldives government’s announcement came by way of its Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Aminath Shauna. As The Edition reports, Minister Shauna affirmed that the government is working on a digital version of the country’s national ID card, with the aim of implementing it in late 2022.
The Minister also asserted that all of the “major components” of the digital ID card have been completed, according to the report.
Further details are scant, but it appears that the initiative is at least partially aimed at making ID services easier for residents of the Maldives. The Edition notes that government authorities recently held a conference to discuss decentralization efforts that would transfer greater government authority to regional councils. One of the councils that participated in the event proposed allowing councils to issue and renew ID cards, noting the difficulties that residents of the Greater Male’ Region can face when seeking to renew their ID cards, which currently requires travel to the country’s capital.
The Edition‘s Mohamed Rehan wrote earlier this year that the Maldives government had announced plans to establish a digital identity system that would facilitate the sharing of identity information between various government institutions, allowing “citizens to become netizens of the government’s shared network”.
How exactly government authorities see the digital ID card playing a role in this broader effort isn’t yet clear, nor are further details about the plan currently available. In any case, it appears that the Maldives is joining a swelling cohort of governments around the world that are pursuing digital ID initiatives.
Authorities in Cyprus, for example, recently made legislative changes that pave the way for the implementation of a digital ID program in that country. And within just the past couple of months the government of Barbados announced plans for mobile-based virtual ID cards while the French president signed a digital identity bill that should ultimately enable citizens to transfer their national ID data to a mobile app.
Source: The Edition