Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Letter of the Day | Let JAMCOVID issue not derail NIDS

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2021 | 12:07 AM


The recent security lapse with the JAMCOVID app was a very unfortunate situation and should never have occurred. What is even more unfortunate is the negative posture that a lot of persons have adopted towards the National Identification System (NIDS) since the incident. If the Government cannot protect our information, then how can we trust NIDS? they say. But the question is, can we trust ourselves with our own information?

If we are to take this negative stance right across the board, then there would be no system in place. Banks, financial institutions, and social media platforms are exposed to breaches. Do we abandon them? When we put our sensitive information (name, address, email, and contact information) into a raffle to win a vehicle, what happens with that information? Do we not enter the raffle? How about schools, churches, and other private institutions, should they not have any form of record keeping because of one security lapse? Oh how perfect the world would be!

The position taken by a few is just an attempt to put a dent into the plans to roll out the NIDS. There is no perfect system in the entire world. Out of this unfortunate incident we could 1) learn from the mishap; 2) strengthen our security infrastructure, procedures, and protocols; and lastly 3) educate our people about practising proper data security.

After analysing the situation and removing my initial shock, I concluded that the incident highlighted the urgent need for a NIDS to be in place. With a NIDS, there will come a new level of expectation as to how identity information should be handled.

Let’s not use the JAMCOVID situation to derail the NIDS any longer. From where I sit, NIDS will only serve to safeguard and strengthen mechanisms for protecting our information.