Sunday 15 September, 2019

Vox Pop: Mixed views on NIDS from the public

As the Government moves to implement the new National Identification System (NIDS), the debate among Jamaicans continue to gain momentum.

On Monday, Loop News took to the streets of Kingston to hear some of the views from members of the public. While some persons gave support for the initiative, others questioned whether the implementation of the system will have an impact on their privacy.

"I disagree with the Government. I don't think people are supposed to have all of your information in anything," said Racquel Pinto, a Jamaican woman who operates a St Andrew store.

She argued that with the high level of fraudulent activities taking place in the society, she was concerned that if the information fell into the wrong hands, people can use persons’ information to commit crimes.

She was not alone along that line of reasoning.

"I don't think it’s fair. Not everybody would like their information to be given out to the Government because some people are private," said Christina Raymond, a woman in the commercial hub of Half-Way Tree.

Raymond argued that with systems such as the Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) already in place in the country, she felt the authorities were going overboard with NIDS.

"I think it’s too much, unless they are trying to do something else undercover. They already brought in the NIS and TRN. I think these systems are enough," said Raymond.

But while they argued along that line, Donovan Edwards, another Jamaican, said he felt NIDS was a good initiative. He, however, had concerns about violation of privacy.

"The only problem I see with it (NIDS) is the depth that they are carrying it to, where they are requesting fingerprints and certain personal data, even retina tests.

"I don't think the Government needs to go down to that level. Yes, we need a national ID because we need to know every Jamaican who is in the country. But I think it is an invasion of privacy when they are going to go down to that level," said Edwards.

Andrew Pearson felt the argument was much to do about nothing.

"I would say that you have to look more carefully at the issue. If you look around, most people have passports, people can have a driving licence. I do not see it as a problem with having an identity document with you," said Pearson.

The debate naturally continues unabated. Watch video below.

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