The Senate on Friday, November 19 approved the bill for the National Identification and Registration Act, 2021, (NIDS) by extension the country’s new identification system. The historic move will see Jamaica’s identification system being digitally streamlined, creating greater ease in transaction and verification for those enrolled.

After several hours and amendments to the country’s new identification law giving rise to the NIDS, the bill was approved. The Senate passed the NIDS Bill with 8 amendments. The bill was then read a third time. It has been a long time coming with discussions around the bill dating as far back as the 1970s.

Opposition Senators demanded clarity on myriad aspects such as access to personal data by third-party accredited entities and employers. There were also concerns about fines being imposed for persons with multiple cards. Member of Parliament, Damion Crawford noted that the option for fingerprint biometric information is included, the uncertainty of this type of fraud and the imposition of a fingerprint on certain documents is concerning. Even as the leader of government business in the Senate and Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith hammered the need for the legislation and its safety mechanisms.

More in this CVM Live story from Neika Lewis: