National Identification Bill Tabled in Parliament

The National Identification Bill, (NIDS) was tabled in the House of Representatives Tuesday, September 21, by Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck. The five-part document outlined various sections that speak to personal identification, identity theft, and fines for breaches.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck sought to outline several sections of the bill shortly titled the National Identification and Registration, (NIR) Act, 2021; better known as NIDS.

According to Minister Chuck, this bill is a living representation of the views of the Jamaican people. He says it embodies the recommendations of a joint select committee on the previous iteration of the legislation.

These recommendations were made as a result of an intensive round of contributions from concerned citizens of Jamaica, members of the diaspora, and various stakeholder interest groups; after the original bill was deemed unconstitutional.

The Minister also notes that clause 25 indicates that the authority may authenticate a national identification number or a national identification card or verify the identity information of an enrolled individual upon that individual’s request or an accredited third party with the consent of the individual. In keeping with data protection principles, the authority must retain records of each request for authentication or verification and how that request was determined.

The bill also provides for the authority to provide anonymised information to public bodies responsible for the collection of statistical information or who require statistical information to perform its functions.

As it is anonymised, the information may not be connected to an enrolled individual thus ensuring that the right to privacy and data protection are observed.

Clause 26 establishes the appeal tribunal relating to the NIDS. An individual who is aggrieved by a decision of the authority regarding enrollment, the national identification number, the national identification card, or identity information may appeal that decision within 28 days of notification or such time as may be extended by the appeal tribunal.

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