New e-NICs: Family details optional

To obtain new electronic National Identity Cards, the declaration of family details will be optional, but those who want to withhold such information will have to provide valid reasons, Internal Affairs Minister S.B.Nawinna told the Sunday Times.

The Minister on Tuesday will seek Parliament’s approval for regulations on the introduction of electronic NICs which will include biometrics of the holder. There will also be provision to seek family information of the applicant.

“The regulations will provide the opportunity to the applicants to decide if they want to provide the family details, but it will be subject to approval of the Commissioner General of Registration of Persons. They will have to give a valid reason if they do not wish to disclose th einformation,” Mr Nawinna explained.

The e-NIC will be issued from October. Under the proposed regulations, the applicants have to declare details of their immediate family members including parents and siblings. Commissioner General Viyani Gunathiake told the Sunday Times that details of the family would be required to create a national data base.

“Our estimates are that we will have a data base of at least 16 million by 2019 making it easy to identify people,” he said.
The new identity card will include fingerprints, photographs and additional security features in keeping with international standards.
An identity card once issued could be used for 40 years and thereafter renewed every 10 years.

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