Sat | Feb 22, 2020

Proposal for a national ID

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:32 AM


I truly believe that the establishment of a National Identification System is a great idea and that its enactment should never warrant complications, but as it is sometimes said, “The road to hell is often paved with good intentions”.

Following objections by the general secretary of the Opposition political party, the Supreme Court has declared the Government’s proposals invalid, as they tend to breach citizens’ right to privacy through excessive demands.

Like many Jamaicans, I have a Jamaican passport, a driver’s licence, a national voter’s identification card and a taxpayer registration number (TRN). These, I think, are valid forms of identification and with these, my identity is verifiable and never in doubt (NID).

The only improvement I can envisage is the provision of ONE card, which combines the basic information contained in these four documents and should be available for every citizen from birth and throughout his or her life.

The information could include:

(a) A dated photograph

(b)Full name

(c) Sex

(d) Date of birth

(e) TRN

(f) Place of birth

(g) Occupation

(h) Blood type could be included for medical purposes.

These could be updated every ten years or so, with a renewed photograph to account for ageing, current address, and/or change of occupation.

I do not believe such information will breach anyone’s human rights and every individual should have one, making their identity never in doubt (NID).