x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Typing centres raise member's security fears

Involving typing centres in the ID card process poses a threat to national security, an FNC member argues yesterday.

ABU DHABI // Using typing centres in the Emirates ID card process poses a threat to national security, an FNC member said yesterday.

Employees at such centres, who are usually expatriates, could be spies or driven by "exterior forces", said Dr Abdulrahim Al Shahin (Ras Al Khaimah).

"In many countries the personal information on ID cards are considered secret and should only be available to authorities," Dr Al Shahin said.

But Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, replied that these days personal data was widely available.

"There is an app on the iPhone which, if you enter the full, correct name of any person in the world, there is a 90 per cent probability it will give you his phone number," Sheikh Saif said.

"In the past we used to put a 'no photography' sign in some places, then Google Earth came out to give you an image of any place on Earth, so these signs became unnecessary and we removed them."

He said the ministry was working with the Emirates Identity Authority to make the registration process faster and reduce queues for the service.

Using typing centres in the process greatly increased the number of people able to register daily, said Sheikh Saif.

"During the first three years using the old method, 1.5 million were registered, whereas in the last two years 6 million were registered," he said.

But Dr Al Shahin insisted the typing centres should be manned by Emiratis, saying it was too risky to leave citizens' personal details in the hands of foreigners who may have hidden agendas.