Sun | Jul 25, 2021

NIDS is a move in the right direction

Published:Tuesday | June 15, 2021 | 12:06 AM


Maintaining the confidentiality of information is crucial when dealing with the information of individuals. It is no secret that the current system is urgently in need of an upgrade and with the Government’s plan to implement the National Identification System (NIDS), safeguarding the privacy of those enrolled must be at the forefront of such a policy.

The Government referred to the secure storing of citizens’ biometric and biographic data on separate databases and having a statutory body in place to ensure the validity of the system. I must also commend the plans of the government to ensure that persons employed at the various related agencies will be properly vetted to minimise corruption within these agencies. This is a great step taken by the government to ensure the security of the system.

Also, while it will be difficult to maintain a system that is fully secured, the new NIDS will be a great improvement to the current system. Digitising the databases may lead to the risk of them being exposed to hackers; however, citizens will be alerted whenever their data is accessed. The same cannot be said about the current system, which involves a lot of manual processes. Having a system where information is stored manually makes it easier for persons without the proper authorisation to gain access, and as such, I welcome the proposed changes under the National Identification System, where only authorised personnel will be able to access the system and data users will be accountable to owners of the relevant data.

Additionally, NIDS will offer a more secure and reliable means of identity verification and authentication, which will improve business processes – positively impacting the ease and convenience in which businesses are conducted daily. No longer will persons be required to provide two or more documents for certain transactions, such as opening bank accounts. Often, citizens are unable to obtain these required documents for various reasons.

I concur that achieving these objectives will require a collaborative effort from all the stakeholders, and I do hope we can unite to benefit from this system and the positive effect it will have on our country.