Feeds

South Africa pushes electronic ID cards

Nice big project

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The South African government is planning to speed up the introduction of electronic ID cards and passports, according to reports, in an effort to crack down on identity fraud. The switchover is expected to cost the government around R1.5bn (around £127m).

ID books are already commonplace in South Africa, and include a photograph and the finger print of the holder. This new legislation would swap the existing paper-based format for a credit card-style ID card with the biometric data stored on a chip, with the transition beginning in six months' time.

But the process, which is expected to take around five years, looks set to be anything but simple. One concerned reader told us:

"We currently have compulsory ID books - large parts of the population don't have one, because they can't afford them (and the new one is about 10 time more expensive). Many still haven't converted from the previous format to the current one, which has now been compulsory for about 10 years.

The new-style ID card will cost R120. Minimum wage in South Africa is R4.10 per hour Costs have not been announced for the new passports.

South Africa recently updated its driving licence system with citizens being called to update their documents by birth month. Those late to re-register had to queue for up to 12 hours for their credit-card style licences.

A spokesman for the department of home affairs told IOL.co.za that the current ID book is too easy to forge. He also warned that delays in launching the new system have given forgers a head start: "The slow process has opened a gap for people running scams to take advantage of the situation," he said.

Barry Gilder, the director-general in the department of home affairs, said that transferring the biometric data and biographical information to a chip will make the cards impossible to fake. If so, it would be something of a first.

Gilder acknowledges that the switchover will be "a mammoth task, far bigger than anything we saw while driver's licences were being converted". ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.