Guyana Prime Minister Mark Phillips has presented a bill to the National Assembly setting the stage for an advanced biometric national ID system in the country. The proposed legislation, if enacted, would lay the groundwork for the establishment of a ‘Digital Identity Card Registry’, with a data collection program that spans both citizens and non-citizens, while encompassing their facial and fingerprint data.
The Digital Identity Card Bill outlines an ambitious plan to centralize biometric data under the watch of the Data Protection Commissioner, with several crucial facets:
- Digitized Identification: Central to the legislation is the creation of Digital Identity Cards. These cards will serve as official documents for legally identifying individuals while interacting with both public institutions and private entities, whether in the physical or digital realm.
- Strong Security: The legislation underscores the importance of robust security for the digital ID cards. They will be designed with advanced security features that ensure longevity, resilience, and immunity to tampering. This heightened security framework is intended to thwart fraudulent activities, inspiring trust among cardholders and stakeholders.
- Biometric Enrichment: The digital ID cards are poised to include fingerprints, facial images, and signatures. For non-citizens, the cards will accommodate additional data essential for work permit applications, according to a report from the Guyana Times.
- Combatting Offences: In anticipation of potential misuse, the legislation delineates offenses related to the digital ID system. These offenses encompass activities like submitting data for multiple cards, manipulating or falsifying cards, providing erroneous information, and unlawfully obtaining or deploying digital identity cards. The proposed penalties are intended to act as deterrents against transgressions.
The architects of the digital ID initiative are committed to adhering to international standards, notably those defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The government has already awarded a $35.4 million contract to Veridos to implement a ‘Single Electronic Identification System’ for the issuance of digital IDs. Veridos was one of two potential vendors recommended for the project by the United Arab Emirates in late 2021, at Guyana’s request.
Source: Guyana Times
August 8, 2023 – by the Mobile ID World Editorial Team