Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology Davidson Ishmael says the proposed digital identification (ID) has not yet been introduced in Barbados.
He sought to make his point “very, very clear” in the House of Assembly yesterday while giving a run-down on the work being done by his ministry in the area of digital transformation for Barbados.
Ishmael said the new Barbados Trident ID that was rolled out recently was Phase 1 of the overall modernisation effort for Government systems. Phase 2, he added, will be when a digital ID will be introduced.
“I continue to hear people talking about ‘they are forcing us to get a digital ID’ . . . . We are not forcing anyone to get a digital ID.”
He said the new card being issued was intended to replace the old physical ID card and was “a better ID card”, for which “over 230 000 people” have already applied.
Ishmael said his Ministry was working on a card in Phase 2 that will serve as “the cornerstone and foundational block to all the digital services to be rolled out in the very near future”.
He told the House there must be a time in Barbados when one would not have to present a physical ID card as this was the direction in which many countries had already gone.
Ishmael commended work being done to modernise and integrate systems at the Barbados Licensing Authority. He said “a lot” was happening behind the scenes with the Public Sector Modernisation programme which will in turn “cascade” to what was happening in the private sector.
In his contribution, Member of Parliament for St Andrew Dr Romel Springer reported that technology had been most effective in carrying out roadworks and the repair of bridges in the Scotland District. (GC)