Govt Insists Demographic Data in NIDS will be Protected

Demographic information to be required by the government for the National Identification System, NIDS, will not be stored in the national identification database.

Data pertaining to race, religion and occupation will be kept in a separate database solely for statistical purposes. That’s according to Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch Stewart.

Mrs. Lynch Stewart says that kind of information — referred to as ‘unidentifiable data’ — is voluntary.

She also says the government will need permission from individuals before their data is shared with other agencies.

Mrs. Lynch Stewart says Section 40 of the recently passed, controversial law, empowers people to take action against agencies who disregard that requirement.

And, Mrs. Lynch Stewart says the law will assist the government in the fight against crime.

Jacqueline Lynch Stewart was speaking last evening at a Town Hall meeting on NIDS at the Emancipation Park in New Kingston. She says DNA, political affiliation, sexual orientation, financial information and criminal records will not be collected for the National ID.

Meanwhile, Program Director of the National Identification System, Warren Vernon says the establishment of the NIDS will save the government over USD$5-million in the next five to six years.

Mr. Vernon made the disclosure last evening at a NIDS Town Hall meeting at Emancipation Park in New Kingston. He says the system will have an annual maintenance price tag of over USD$2-million.

Mr. Vernon says the system is a solution designed to fix ‘all of government’. He says the system will be equipped with the technology required to protect government-grade data.

In the meantime, CEO of E-Government, Maurice Barnes, says the government will establish several well-secured enrollment centres across the island.

He says the NIDS will improve public sector efficiency.

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