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Digital IDs to finally kick off in 2022

2 years ago

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  • ICTA currently developing required software

By Sunday Morning Business Desk   The unique digital ID project prepared jointly by the Sri Lanka Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the Department of Registration of Persons is set to commence in the wake of 2022, The Sunday Morning Business learnt. Speaking to us, ICTA Chairman Lalith Gamage said that ICTA is in the process of collecting, collating, and consolidating into one set all the information of the citizens of Sri Lanka, which would then finally be used to generate and release a unique ID. “ICTA is in the process of developing software and have provided the proof of concept to collect the biometric information of the people,” he stated. The unique digital identity card is set to digitalise the process of submitting accurate details of all the citizens and enable the presentation of information on the ID cards of individuals in a simpler manner to different government departments which are governed by different legal provisions. These departments will then have access to these details online. Gamage further pointed out that once the biometric information is submitted to the ICTA by the people, which would be inclusive of fingerprints, a picture of the iris, and a photo, it will be incorporated into the unique digital IDs and released to the public. The unique ID card will be fed with the citizen’s biometric details that would be required for obtaining a passport, driving license, pension, Samurdhi benefits, and paying taxes. In addition, this card will also consist of information that is required when casting the vote at elections. The processing of unique digital IDs will be carried out under the close supervision of an expert panel, the ICTA, and the Presidential Task Force. Speaking on Sri Lanka Internet Day 2021 last month, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated: “Establishing citizen service centres to adopt new technologies for public service delivery, introducing a digital and electronic payment system to pay traffic fines, and establishing an e-procurement system to eliminate bribery and corruption, among others, are envisaged under this component. Very soon, a unique digital identity card with state-of-the-art technology for every citizen, will be a reality.” The Sri Lankan Government planned to implement the unique digital ID project last year with the intention of providing central access to the information of every citizen through a magnetic strip or QR code. The unitary digital identification framework has been prepared jointly by the ICTA and the Department of Registration of Persons and was given approval by the Cabinet last year. The digital ID has been in development since 2015 and will be required to obtain all forms of functional identity in Sri Lanka. Additionally, the Sri Lankan Government is working to integrate the National Identity Card (NIC) into other forms of functional identity, creating some interoperability between different identity registers; such as where passports and driving licences can be used to validate identity because they contain an individual’s NIC number.

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