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Cyprus gives new details on digital ID, government plan

Cyprus gives new details on digital ID, government plan

Cypriots may be able to access public services using a dedicated digital government portal from either June or July this year while efforts continue to progressively introduce digital services on the platform, a government minister has announced.

The deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Nicodemos Damianou, disclosed this in a recent interview granted to the Cyprus News Agency, Stockwatch reports.

To be known as gov.cy, the portal will operate with a generative AI-powered digital assistant expected to go live in the last quarter of this year, the same timeframe for the transfer of all government data to a single secure location. For now, data is held in siloes by government agencies.

In the domain of justice, the minister announced that a digital justice platform will be rolled out very likely in September, as work is being done afresh on the project because things didn’t go well as was required.

With regards to how the country’s digital ID and digital signature systems will function, Damianou mentioned that details about their launch will be released next month.

As part of the digital transformation process, the official also spoke about the introduction of a mobile application dubbed “digital citizen” which the country’s president spoke about at the start of this year.

Damianou said the platform will enable citizens carry three credentials for a start, namely the ID card, a driver’s license and a MOT certificate (a document issued after a vehicle undergoes various checks).

“I hope that in May, we will be able to make an announcement on how we will give the citizens the electronic identity and electronic signature. It is our identity in the electronic world, it is the way I identify myself on the government portal to submit a request,” Damianou said as quoted by Stockwatch.

Speaking about AI broadly, the official said it is something that has the potential to positively impact the country’s digital transformation plans, but that the government is in the process of studying the potential harms to rollout a regulation framework.

Other issues addressed by the minister as being among the priority issues in Cyprus’ digital transformation agenda include the need to up the country’s digital skills level which is currently below the European average of 59 percent, the putting in place of a comprehensive framework for cybersecurity, and the building of a viable research and digital innovation ecosystem.

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