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Jamaica national ID deployment moves forward with first biometric registration centers opening

Jamaica national ID deployment moves forward with first biometric registration centers opening

The first biometric enrolment center to enable citizens to register for Jamaica’s new National Identification System (NIDS) is scheduled to open in a fortnight’s time.

The news comes from the Jamaican Observer, which reported on a meeting taking place last week between Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness and Productive Business Solutions (PBS), a system integrator in charge of overseeing the opening of the new centers.

The site will feature a range of technologies aimed at facilitating the enrolment of citizens in the digital ID-powered NIDS infrastructure and will include privacy-focused stations, biometric capture tools such as fingerprint readers and cameras, a signature pad, and more.

According to the Jamaican Observer, all collected information during the biometric registration process will be stored directly in the Jamaican Government’s primary and secondary data centers.

The first of five sites that will be opened across Kingston and St Andrew by early October. The initial facility will be reportedly located at the Central Sorting Office on South Camp Road in Kingston.

The announcement regarding the opening of the new biometric registration centers comes only months after Jamaica’s government started digitizing 2 million birth, marriage, death, and adoption records kept by the Registrar General.

And in June, the country reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with financial institutions for a pilot on the identity verification and authentication services component of the national digital ID.

In the same month, Minister without Portfolio at the Prime Minister’s Office Floyd Green announced that Jamaicans living abroad will be able to get the new generation national biometric ID card when the rollout begins.

For context, the new enrolment sites represent the first phase of three in the rollout of the new digital ID, with the other two being the verification of data and the collection of a PIN for the activation of the ID card.

After the pilot program comes into effect with the first biometric registration centers, NIDS will be rolled out to the general public in 2023.

And while the digitalization of the country’s systems will offer many advantages for citizens, Jamaica’s identity plans also came under scrutiny in the past for the scope of what they intend to collect and the data protection in place.

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