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Apart from UAE, other countries are also in the process of implementing a national identity card scheme.
August 27, 2008 11:56 by kippreport
Recent reports say the UAE is planning to strictly implement the national ID scheme, which will be in place by 2010. Expatriates will be legally required to have the cards, and employers will be penalized if their staff break the law, reports Gulf News.
The card will be required for people making governmental, semi-governmental and private transactions by the end of 2010. Registrations have already started.
The service charge is Dh500 per family (on top of a registration fee), provided all family members are registered under one sponsorship. Expatriates have to pay Dh100 per year for the duration of their residence visas, while UAE nationals have to pay Dh100 for five years.
The project to issue approximately five million ID cards is worth $55m, and is being undertaken by the Emirates Identity Authority.
But the scheme is not a first for the region; it is already in place in Saudi Arabia. The national ID card is issued to every citizen in the Kingdom when he reaches the age of 15. The plastic card has a chip containing fingerprint and signature details and various other applications such as the civil register, family record, Saudi passport, driving license and health information. Earlier this month, Saudi placed an order for ID cards worth $2.8m from Laser Card Corporation.
Another country which has recently announced the implementation of a national identification cards project is Tanzania. The government announced that the scheme will be underway by 2009, when the cards are expected to be ready for distribution to its citizens.
The country is yet to decide the contractor for the $176m project, but it has garnered interest from many parties. According to reports, the scheme has been delayed for several years, because of problems like lack of funds, legal wrangling and meddling by some big names in the government.
Meanwhile, the ID cards scheme in the UK has been facing constant problems. Most recently, it was found that PA Consulting, the firm working on setting up the project, was involved with a major data blunder. The private firm employed by the government lost the names, addresses and release dates of 84,000 prisoners.
The $40bn ID scheme also came under scrutiny earlier this month, when the government’s scientific advisers warned that the quality of fingerprints from 4 million people aged over 75 may be too poor to be used for the cards.
An organization called NO2ID has also been formed in UK to campaign against the ID card scheme.