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National digital ID to be launched by Senegal, legislative foundation proposed for Finland

National digital ID to be launched by Senegal, legislative foundation proposed for Finland

Senegal has, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), launched a national digital identity project after wide consultations with relevant stakeholders, while the Parliament of Finland will soon study a proposed piece of legislation to set up the legal framework for its digital identity ecosystem. This development comes at a time when the Cayman Island is yet to see the launch of its own legal framework for the same purpose. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Thailand have introduced new platforms through which citizens can obtain identity credentials, and authorities in the Philippines are planning to roll out a printable version of the national biometric ID.

Senegal digital ID project underway

Senegal’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications has officially launched the national digital identity project which aims to help the country meet objectives of the ‘Senegal Digital Strategy 2025.’

The digital ID project, Press Afrik reports, was launched June 24 after intense work led by Achime Malick Ndiaye, director of ICT at the Ministry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications.

With the National Digital Identity (INN) project, Senegal hopes to achieve the sustainable development goals by creating a secure and convenient system which is inclusive, can stimulate wealth creation as well as allow state institutions to easily share citizens’ data for official purposes, as part of efforts to modernize the country’s public administration. Citizens will be issued a unique identifier which will enable them access state services, as well as those from the private sector.

Ndiaye says the INN system will support national data sovereignty, and its establishment will involve 28 reforms and 69 initiatives.

Senegal Digital Strategy 2025 seeks to make digital technology, the main driver of the West African nation’s economy by 2025.

The digital ID system, expected to be in place by 2024, is estimated to cost XAF 3.2 billion (US$5.2 million).

Digital ID legislation soon for Finland

A ministerial working group in Finland recently approved a proposed legislation on introducing a digital identity system in the country, with lawmakers due to study the draft text during the parliamentary session coming up in the autumn, reports Yle.

The report quotes the country’s Minister of Local Development Sirpa Paatero as saying in a statement that introducing a digital ID will enable people better handle their personal data and gain access to a wide range of services in a more convenient manner. Per the report, individuals will be able to prove their identity using their digital ID portfolio from a mobile application.

Meanwhile, another Finnish government minister is cited in the article as disclosing that plans have equally been initiated to revise the current system for issuing personal identity codes, to allow for the creation of gender-neutral identity codes to tackle the problem of gender discrimination.

Economic Affairs Minister Mika Lintila said the new personal identity code system, which may come into force by 2027, will facilitate the recruitment of foreign talent and boost work-based immigration.

Cayman Island sees delay in digital ID legislation

The drafting of the legislation to govern the digital identity ecosystem in the Cayman Islands is complete, but public consultations to discuss the document are yet to take place, according to the Director in charge of digital government at the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Ian Tibbetts.

Cayman Compass (subscription required) reports that while work on the introduction of the national digital ID card is progressing on a good footing, it is important to put in place a legal framework that oversees the functioning of the system.

The National Identification and Registration Act (NIRA) is pending parliamentary approval.

Last year, authorities in the country talked of linking up the national identification number with the taxpayer’s registration number (TRN) to enable citizens have access to a wide variety of services.

Saudi Arabia rolls out ID card renewal platform

A platform dubbed ‘Absher’ has been introduced where Saudi citizens can renew their national ID cards digitally, using a facial recognition system, without having to visit civil registration offices, writes Saudi Gazette.

Officials say the request for renewal of ID cards can be sent through the platform 180 days or less to the expiry of the cards, and users can do so by creating an account on the platform and uploading their photo to it, the outlet mentions. This move is part of the Saudi government’s digital transformation efforts, it indicates.

New mobile ID for Thai residents

A new mobile ID system has been introduced in Thailand where mobile phone numbers will be used as a replacement for ID cards, according to a tweet by Privacy Matters, a data protection, privacy and human rights group.

The system has been put in place by Thai mobile operator DTAC in collaboration with the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, but Privacy Matters calls it “the commodification of identity” and wonders how close the move is to the GSMA’s mobile connect concept.

A blog post by DTAC notes that the mobile ID which is easy to use can be used to verify identity, facilitate transactions, and securely preserve personal information.

Users have been told to register for the mobile ID by taking their ID cards to DTAC offices.

With the mobile ID, a person can identify themselves and request a mobile phone service, services from the public and private sectors, carry out financial transactions with banks, get a digital driver’s license, as well as other online transactions.

Filipinos soon to have printable version of national ID

Efforts are underway by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to issue a printable version of the national ID card to citizens. This comes as the PSA also intends to increase the number of issued cards by the end of this year, reports Philstar.

The outlet quotes national statistician Dennis Mapa as saying: “The PSA is currently working on increasing the production of the physical ID cards currently printed at the BSP and will launch the printable version of the national ID which can be printed at the PSA registration centers. This will increase the number of registrants with national ID: physical or printable.”

It’s not clear when the issuance of the printable version of the ID card will begin. The PSA says it hopes to reach 92 million biometric ID issuance target by the close of 2022.

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