Answer to Question #168765 in Law for Ke-Andra Kirkland

Question #168765


Semester 2- AY 2020/21

In Jamaica, having a legal identity is becoming more and more of a necessity to carry out business with both the private sector and the public sector. Persons are unable to apply for jobs and open bank accounts among other things, as they are undocumented, which further results in them being denied opportunities and possibilities for personal growth and development.

On Tuesday, December 15, 2020, Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness tabled the National Identification and Registration Bill, 2020, which makes provisions for a voluntary and secure National Identification System (NIDS) for Jamaica. This Bill seeks to establish a National Identification System (NIDS) which will result in the institution of a unique secure method of ascertaining that an individual's identity is genuine. Persons will voluntarily register under the NIDS and will be issued with a National Identification Number (NIN) which will be their unique identifier in the system. Additionally, all information captured through registration for a NIN will be stored in a secure database. The use of a NIN as the primary key will enable interconnectivity of the NIDS database and all records within existing GOJ databases.

Some Jamaicans are very sceptical of this Bill as some persons believe that once this becomes an Act of Parliament, the Government of Jamaica will have their data captured and other information available to use against them, know their every move and take away their right to privacy. Some agree that it should not be mandatory to register and obtain a National Identification Card. Others say that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and for there to be an efficient operation of NIDS to enable it to meet its objectives, every citizen and ordinary resident of Jamaica must be mandated to be registered.

NIDS-A Lifesaver or an unwanted guest?

Research the NIDS policy and review the 2020 NIDS Bill. Your research should include the following:

a. An Introduction with an overview of the NIDS policy.

b. An explanation of the Objectives of the NIDS Bill.

c. The role and four (4) functions of the Body Corporate and the Office established under the Body Corporate.

d. The explanation of two (2) advantages and two (2) disadvantages of the NIDS system.

e. Critical assessment of the NIDS Bill and whether or not the registration should be mandatory.

f. Two (2) Offences and accompanying penalties stated in the NIDS Bill.

g. Three (3) recommendations for amendments to the Bill as drafted based on your critical assessment.

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