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Jamaica, Greece advancing digital ID plans with biometrics capture pilot, digital wallet

Jamaica, Greece advancing digital ID plans with biometrics capture pilot, digital wallet

Jamaica, Greece, Pakistan, Serbia and Turkey have all either entered or are planning to enter new phases of their respective digital identity rollout programs. While Jamaica says citizens of the diaspora will be factored into its new national ID card (NIDS) scheme, for which a pilot for biometrics capture is expected in August, Greek authorities say the rollout of a wallet for digital ID credentials will begin by the end of July. In Pakistan, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has completed an upgraded center for the production of smart cards with the goal of meeting international standards, while Serbia and Turkey are set to seal a deal which will see citizens of both countries travel to the other side with only a valid national ID card, instead of a visa.

Diaspora Jamaicans to be issued digital ID cards

Jamaicans living anywhere in the world will be able to get the new generation national biometric ID card when the rollout begins effectively by next year, according to Minister without Portfolio at the Prime Minister’s Office Floyd Green.

Caribbean National Weekly (CNW) reports that Green was speaking at a recent meeting with diaspora Jamaicans during the 60th independence anniversary celebrations of the country.

According to the minister, in addition to diaspora members, those who have resided in the country for at least six months will also be eligible for the cards. Applicants will have to pre-enroll for the IDs online after which they will be required to travel to Jamaica to have their biometrics captured, including facial images and fingerprints, Green notes. The online pre-enrolment will allow applicants choose the date for which they will travel to the country for the biometrics capture, CNW notes.

The ID rollout will unfold in three phases – from registration and collection of biometric data, to verification and collection of a PIN for the activation of the ID card to be issued, the report explains, adding that pilot centers will first be set up in Kingston and St Andrew by August 2022, ahead of a national pilot, while full rollout is planned for 2023.

Green was also quoted as saying the new ID cards will be extremely secure with 26 security features at three levels, up from the 12 which the current version of the national ID has.

The ID card will also be the unique proof of identity for holders and will enable them have access to a wide range of public services, authorities say.

Pakistan upgrades smart cards production center

As part of its objectives to continue providing citizens with tamper-proof ID documents, Pakistan’s NADRA has upgraded its smart card production center so as to align it with international standards, per a post on the LinkedIn account of the body’s Chairperson and CEO Tariq Malik.

According to a promotional video, the innovative move is fundamental given that identity fraud is constantly changing and NADRA is committed to continue contributing to the security of Pakistan by fostering trust in government programs developed for citizens.

The smart cards production center which has a capacity of 1,200 cards per hour and 125,000 cards daily, is equipped to meet Common Criteria Certified Global Platform and ISO/IEC 19794-2, ISO 9001 and ISO 7810 quality standards, with compliance testing for every shipment, according to the video.

NADRA has been producing secure identity documents since the year 2000 to meet the demand of the government of Pakistan and its satisfied clients.

Upgrading the center raises the bar of NADRA’s own performance to compete at national and international level, the video indicates.

Greece to introduce digital ID wallets in July

Greece’s Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis says smartphone users in the country will be able to access their ID cards and driver’s licenses from a digital wallet by the end of next month, writes Ekathimerini.

Coming after a pilot for the ID card which was conducted last December, the digital ID wallet rollout is meant to facilitate the way citizens carry along their ID credentials, said the minister on Skai TV as quoted.  The official added that new ID has been designed with a QR Code to ease transaction with state institutions.

While Pierrakakis gave reason for delays in introducing the digital signature, he also gave hint on the imminent replacement of the current social security number and the AFM tax ID with a new citizen registration number.

An announcement on the introduction of the mobile versions of the digital ID and driver’s licenses in Greece was made in January.

Serbia, Turkey plan visa-free border crossing deal

A protocol agreement to be signed soon between Serbia and Turkey will allow citizens enter the other country with just a valid biometric national ID card instead of visas and passports, reports FTN News, citing a statement from the Serbian government.

The quoted statement mentions that the objective of the deal is to improve and facilitate the movement of people and goods between both countries, and also encourage tourist visits which are common between them.

Both countries enjoy special relations in different other domains, and since 2010, movement between them has been possible without a visa, the report notes.

Norwegians have also been approved for entry into Turkey with only their biometric national ID cards, on a temporary basis.

The Turkish tourism sector requested the change, which is scheduled to last 6.5 months, due to the international chip shortage, reports Hurriyet Daily News. After the temporary measure expires, visitors from Norway will once again be required to present a passport.

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