NATIONAL NEWS - To bring an end to identity theft and to update South Africa’s Identification Act, the government is calling on you to have your say on the changes that should be implemented.
“The integrity of the population register depends on the integrity of all the primary data systems, which must meet high standards of security, as specified in relevant Acts, and produce data that is accurate and reliable.
“While it is important to secure and modernise the identity management system, the continued reliance on primary systems that are manual and insecure poses a serious risk to the accuracy of the population register,’ said the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in its recently released draft Official Identity Management Policy.
It says the DHA is operating without an approved identity management framework and that such a framework must address how the department will regulate the manner in which personal information will be processed.
The way in which personal information is captured and stored must meet the standards of the rest of the world, in which digital platforms ‘form the backbone of the global financial enterprise’.
“Central to this is biometric data, including fingerprints, iris reading, facial recognition and DNA, e-identity, e-government and e-commerce.”
In summary, the DHA’s policy makes the following recommendations:
ID numbers based on parents
The identity number of a child must be processed on the basis of biographic information and linked to their parents’ identity numbers and mother’s biometric data.
Recognition of other sex/gender categories
The new legislation and population register must make provision that enables the establishment of a category that is neither male nor female.
Random unique identity number
Another option is to issue a random unique identity number that is not linked to or founded on a person’s sex/gender, date of birth, place of birth or any other marker.
Records of persons throughout their lifespan
Every birth that takes place in the country must be registered. If possible, the biometrics of children must be captured at birth. Where impossible, the biometrics of a parent must be linked to the birth certificate of a child.
Children must be re-registered when they reach age five with ten fingerprints and iris and facial photographs. A combination of different biometric data for children should be considered, with options such as a photograph of the ear.
The public consultation period will close on 28 February.
Department of Home Affairs Director General, Tommy Makhode, said decisions on the new ID system will be guided by feedback from the public consultation process and the department hopes that by the end of the year the implementation of the new ID system will get off the ground.
To read the full draft of the official Official Identity Management Policy, click here.
For more information, visit the official Department of Home Affairs website.