x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

ID card data will help curb identity theft

Government agencies are using data collected in the national identity card scheme to aid planning and prevent identity theft, a senior official says.

DUBAI // Government agencies are using data collected in the national identity card scheme to aid planning and prevent identity theft, a senior official said yesterday. The Community Development Authority in Dubai has now joined the Dubai Courts, Fujairah Municipality and the water authorities for both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in being provided data by the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) that assists in their planning.

"It will help them plan internally and use their resources better," said Thamer al Qasemi, planning director for the EIDA. "They will also be using the ID card to check that people are who they say they are at service centres, which will protect their customers' identities from fraud." The Community Development Authority, for instance, would be better able to provide social services, including pensions and aid for the disabled, a spokesman said.

Mr al Qasemi said the pace at which agencies were signing up to use the ID card data had quickly picked up since March, when the Dubai Courts announced that Emiratis would no longer be able to access the legal system without one. All Emiratis must have an identity card and could face a Dh1,000 (US$272) fine if they do not. Expatriates who do not have a card will not face fines until the end of 2010.

Mr al Qasemi said there was a steady flow of people signing up for the cards, but that queues were not too bad. He said that was likely to change in October, when the enormous task of registering the millions of construction labourers in the UAE begins. "At the moment all of our attention is focused on that. We are putting a lot of effort into talking to the big companies who employ a lot of people to try, and make the process as smooth as possible."

gmcclenaghan@thenational.ae