Tue | May 30, 2023

Letter of the Day | Security: A priority with NIDS

Published:Tuesday | January 18, 2022 | 12:06 AM


It is a new year, and one thing is clear, online services are here to stay, and no doubt the pandemic has certainly helped to propel this digital thrust. Wholeheartedly, I support online services, however, I am concerned that as we migrate online, there is need to protect our digital identity. If we are going to be present online – as it is becoming more mandatory than voluntary – we must best secure ourselves. It is because of this reason that I support the NIDS. The premise of the NIDS is founded on the need for data protection while we navigate the digital domain.

I recently saw an article highlighting the prime minister’s visit to the National Identification System (NIDS) card-production centre. He indicated that the hope is that the NIDS will be operational this year. It was a pleasant surprise as I recognised that there will be a dedicated space/office and team to deal with production and security of our information. Again, the prime minister is taking the necessary steps towards data security. It also speaks volumes to see that amid all that is happening nationally, he personally took the time to visit the centre to see the procedure involved in the card-production process and at the same time ensuring that the standards that the public has been demanding will be adhered to.

I keep noticing that sectors and industries that traditionally have not included digital services as a primary form of delivery have been exploring how to incorporate technology to aid the efficiency of client care. Even the discussion to be able to pay traffic tickets on spot shows that Jamaica is seeing the benefits of technology, and we are using it to propel us forward. Several governmental agencies have finally stepped into the modern age and are providing better customer service through merely introducing digital solutions. Too long, the complaint has been the ‘backwardness of government’. Tasks that had become mundane and odious such as the payment of motor vehicle registration, which typically took hours at our tax offices, and the application of National Housing Trust returns, which now takes less than two minutes to complete due to the online platforms, are initiatives that we must applaud.