Jamaican Government to Consider Public and Private Sector Proposals for Digital ID Regulation

The Jamaican government has announced its plans to take into account proposals from the public and private sector regarding the draft regulation for the country’s new digital ID system. The regulation will outline how the National Identification and Registration Inspectorate (NIRI) and the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) will collaborate to implement the system, while ensuring the security and protection of personal data.

Following a pilot of the digital ID system launched in December 2022, adjustments are being made based on feedback from the public and Jamaican citizens. Dr. Warren Vernon, program director of the Jamaica National Identification System (NIDS), stated that updates to the regulation are in progress. Additionally, efforts are being made to increase the number of biometric enrollment centers, including transforming 10 Post Offices into NIDS centers. The government aims to improve the application process and encourage citizens to voluntarily enroll in the digital ID system, which will provide them with a National Identification Number (NIN) for secure access to services.

Dr. Dana Morris Dixon, minister without portfolio in charge of skills and digital transformation, confirmed that work on the draft regulation is ongoing and is expected to be presented to parliament before the end of the year. The government emphasized the importance of the NIDS, highlighting its potential to facilitate secure and convenient access to government and private sector services.

In parallel to the digital ID initiative, the Jamaican government launched the Digital Jamaica program, supported by a €9.5 million (US$10.1 million) investment by the European Union. This initiative focuses on enhancing education, expanding internet connectivity, and supporting tech adoption by small and medium-sized businesses to bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion.

The government is also planning to modernize its border management systems to enhance security. Andrew Wynter, executive director of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), stated the intention to upgrade the facilities at Sangster International Airport, integrating a biometric passenger screening system to keep up with emerging technologies.

– Jamaica Information Service (JIS)
– Radio Jamaica News
– Jamaica Observer