Jamaica's biometric system to reduce ID theft

05/03/18

Senior Jamaican officials have said biometric data compiled under the National Identification System (NIDS) will assist in reducing incidents of identity theft.

Chief Technical Director for the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, said this information was essential in safeguarding citizens from having their personal information stolen.

“Biometrics are what will protect everyone. Somebody can look like you and can have a similar name; in fact you can have a twin, but it’s the biometrics that make sure that you are really who you say you are. And, that is what is going to protect you when you have your card,” she said.

Lynch-Stewart was speaking at a NIDS public forum at Webster Memorial United Church, in St Andrew on Thursday.

The chief director said only four biometric data are to be submitted under the NIDS –   facial image, fingerprints (10), eye colour and signature.  

For persons who do not have hands, an iris scan will be required.

“We anticipate a small percentage of our population will fall into that category; for example, persons who work in an environment where their fingerprints have been eroded (persons using chemicals and farmers),” she explained.

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