Feeds

South Africa pushes electronic ID cards

Nice big project

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.