Minister: ID cards won’t be compulsory

| 07/07/2020 | 56 Comments
Cayman News Service
Commerce Minister Joey Hew in LA on 1 July

(CNS): The minister responsible for e-government, Joey Hew, has said the ID card system that government is working on will not be compulsory and the public can choose what they share with government and which entities they share it with. The plan to create a national register and issue cards to residents has caused some concern about privacy issues, and despite Hew’s reassurances in the Legislative Assembly last week, it is still not entirely clear what data will be held and by whom.

He said government will be encouraging people to use the cards, which will be distributed by departments such as the Elections Office. Hew presented the national identity register and the ID cards as a way of allowing government departments to cross-check accurate basic information with each other rather than residents having to provide information every time they need some form of public service.

The minister first outlined the progress of the project at a recent COVID-19 press briefing, when he indicated that the plan was to roll out the register later this year and the cards early next year. But when the parliament met last week, he faced questions regarding public concerns about the plan for government to start collecting and holding information on the people.

However, Hew pressed home the idea that the register and card system provided a way to improve the digital economy, especially for government. He said the current COVID-19 pandemic had demonstrated how important online services were but had also revealed “major gaps” in service delivery.

He said the ID system and population register, which will need to be supported by legislation, would derive its basic information from immigration, the registry and the Elections Office. Hew said it would eventually lead to customer convenience and a reduction in the need for people to submit documents or re-submit information that government already holds.

When the ID cards are issued showing basic ID details, they will hold a collection of digital data about the individual holder. But he said that this ‘e-ID’ would not hold biometric data such as fingerprints or iris recognition. It will allow a card holder to use digital signatures for online transactions and authenticated document submissions.

Hew said the security has already been formulated and a lot of work has been done to ensure that people’s data will be as secure as banking cards. He said people will be able to choose how they use this card, who you choose to give access to and what access you give them.

The minister said issues relating to the compliance with the Constitution and privacy rights would be covered in the legislation, which is expected to be brought to the LA before the end of this year and would be in-line with the data protection law.


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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I want the mark of the beast. Should I get this ID card or a vaccine?

    #lame

    • Ids for expats first says:

      Why is the CI Government not requiring ids for expats? This is a requirement under the Immigration Law. Permit holders have no ids issued to them whoch is a requirement. Please tell us why? Fix this first. There are undocumented immigrants coming in by conoes every drug trip walking around and working at these construction sites taking jobs away from Caymanians and legitimate permit holders.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t wait for bionics and integrated biosensors. Imagine having night vision, super strength, and your smartphone being able to warn you of low sugar, dehydration, stress/high blood pressure or an incoming heart attack.

      Yet these conspiracists and religious nuts twist their fairytales to inhibit technological advancement. Of course, they also post about the dangers of radiowaves from smartphones too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And the “minor” details of who was awarded the contract to provide (friends) and the cost (ridiculous) are never to be disclosed. Wow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shut up you cry baby and get a flight back to where your kind comes from. People like you are who wreck our island. Honorable Hew is an excellent leader who cares about his people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It really would be comforting if our politicians did things wholeheartedly and without the notion ‘What is in it for me?’

    I for one, would start trusting their schemes more. Not necessary them as a person.

  4. Anonymous says:

    An identity card is a great idea as long as I don’t need to bring my passport, driver’s license, voters card, Caymanian birth certificate, status, Port id card, taxi license, tour bus license, public bus license and/or work permit. I want you to have everything you need to prove who I am. A number on the card so someone near a computer can verify the info.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t a voters ID and a driver’s licence enough? I am glad it is not compulsory which equates to It being unnecessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just yet another way for somebody (lodge most likely) to get some at the trough.
      But you will never know who that is going to be. There are plenty more.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Now days it looks like license plates on cars are optional.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If Government can’t cross-check information now, having another database with that information will not make a difference.

    National Database is not a technical problem, it is a legal one. The first ‘joined up information’ needed is for Joey to go ask the Attorney General of the hoops to jump through to set this up.

    Government could cross-link databases right now, without a national ID theft target, if they wanted to. But successive politicians don’t seem to want efficiency, they have their eyes on a brass ring of a National ID for some reason. Even though they can never actually justify the expense of something no one really seems to need.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Then what’s the point of it all?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Will we be getting our cards before or after our replacement license plates?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Another brilliant idea from Joey the joker. NOT.
    I wonder which friend will get the contract and share the split?

    • Anonymous says:

      Jamaica style politics is here.

      • EYES WIDE SHUT says:

        Joey Hew is the poster boy of Jamaican politics operating in Cayman. He is the new McKeeva Bush same attitude, same arrogance and lack of qualifications for the top job. Plus easy to control.

  11. “Joey Gotta Go” says:

    Joey Hew cannot be trusted with anything. What he claims today will be then explained as “miscommunication” or the classic line “these things happen” ask Barbara and the save smith’s barcadere ad hoc committee that proved his incompetence. Everything he touches turns into a $hit show based on his lies and lack of depth. A Slick talker he should explain the mess with the license plates and who owns the company and how that contract was set up. Today it is still a mess.

    It’s clear “Joey gotta go!”

  12. Anonymous says:

    11:45 am- we already license, passport and voter’s ID. Why do we need another?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because each prove different and unrelated things. They also do not have details of your health insurance, any limitations on your ability to work or own a business, your police record, whether you have unpaid debts to government, and whether you owe child support.

      • Anonymous says:

        Probably a third of the voter list owes child support.

      • Anonymous says:

        They don’t have that information because it is against the Law for them to access that information that they don’t need. Which illegality will remain even with a national id. So whatever you think the NatID will do it may not. Better ask Joey what exactly this will do. Because expectation and reality may be far apart.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So we will finally have a single government register that provides all departments with our immigration/citizenship status?

    The fact that you need to prove you are Caymanian over and over again to different Government departments is ridiculous. A good time to be a notary though.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We don’t have much to worry about or to gain from this. Most likely it will take at least 5 years or more to be fully implemented just like the new licence plate system. And if it ever does will it work as good as the Customs COLS system which a mess. The big consideration, what will this all cost and will it streamline doing business with CIG? I tend to think not.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kind of like pension payments then.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is a good idea and may stand some chance of finally stopping hundreds of foreign nationals from being treated as Caymanian “by mistake.” That alone is an enormous issue losing the Cayman government millions in revenue every year.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you think it will do that? A Black Diamond on their breast pocket if they are non-Caymanian?

  17. Anonymous says:

    As long as it only has info contained in a CI driving lic+immigration status (Caymanian etc) it can be a substitute for a driving lic. A number of Caymanians have no form of ID other than voters ID. BVI has something similar as to who is BVI Islander

    • Anonymous says:

      If all you want is a ‘non-driver ID’ just print them. Other places do. One system already printing ID’s. They just change the background on the picture, plug in the address you give them – like a driver’s licence – and hit print with the ‘no driving’ instead of ‘driver licence’ header.

      Fast, easy, cheap, no need for additional Law, equipment, process, staff, etc., etc., etc.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The government’s existing Rolls Royce CRM/ESP systems (which nobody seems to know how to use), their siloed ministries, interminably inefficient department heads, culturally allergic to inter-departmental collaboration; together with all the data already held/mismanaged, does not get “fixed” with any ID card.

    The data has already been provided, and there is no informational void to be filled.

    Having witnessed Joey Hew’s sputtering failure on RFID license plate roll-out for cars – and the Care Pay Health ID card sham: these examples should make the public very wary that there could be other reasons for signing a large CAPEX contract (of any kind) in the closing months of a regime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup @11:57. There is another reason behind this “e-ID.” Why don’t they create a database to be shared across all government entities with the information they already have ie from the Immigration. They already know our names, date of birth, nationalities, etc. Why do we need a digital signature to make purchases anyway?

      *yawns* 🤦‍♀️

  19. Anonymous says:

    Nope, no thanks!

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is BS. Not on his small island!

    I knew someone that worked at HSA and would go through peoples private files regarding health issues.

    If she could do it, anyone can do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      And they do. It’s Immigrations national pastime.

      • Anonymous says:

        2.56pm There is an easy way to avoid that . Just stay away from Cayman.Especially since most of you commenting on here hate the place anyway ( or should I say hate the people).

    • Anonymous says:

      She would go to work and chat the patients business. The thing about it though was while she was spreading people’s news ,they were some out there spreading hers, that is how it goes!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never understood the opposition to carrying some kind of ID card. The only people who should have any worries about it are criminals, innocent people have nothing to fear.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not here bobo. It’s not whether one is a criminal or not. It’s whether you are liked or not. Alden has no problem locking down Cayman, causing all sorts of hardship to innocent people, but you watch no one will be locked up for Margaritaville. That’s how we roll.

    • Anonymous says:

      You were trying to be deliberately ironic by posting that anonymously, right?

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