Feeds

South Africa pushes electronic ID cards

Nice big project

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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". ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.