As Rwanda continues to explore technological solutions, citizens will soon receive digital identity (ID) cards, which will replace their present physical ID cards, at the age of a newborn.Officials had previously stated that youngsters five years of age and older could only participate in the development.

Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, made the announcement on October 23 on an episode of The New Times’ podcast “The Long Form,” in which she also offered more insights into a variety of other subjects, including startups, artificial intelligence, 5G networks, and more.”With the digital ID, we will issue it from birth, whereas the existing ID is only supplied to those who are 16 years of age or older. We are excited about that, she remarked.The suggested digital IDs will use technologies like biometrics, QR codes, or random number tokens to enable both identity and authentication of individuals.

She said that in terms of biometrics, which formerly required the use of thumbs, this feature will require ten fingerprints, and even for a newborn, three distinct touch points will be taken. Since biometrics technology is always changing, updates will be needed eventually.Ingabire stated that in addition to helping foreigners and Rwandans, they also aim to assist a group of persons who are stateless for a variety of reasons but still require access to certain services.The digital ID will be available in two formats: an unprinted version that can be accessed online and offline using biometric authentication, and a physical card with a QR code that contains biometric data.

A $40 million finance arrangement with the World Bank was inked for a five-year term, but one year has already passed before the digital ID system is implemented.Digital ID dataNational identity number, name(s), gender, place of birth, date of birth, nationality, marital status, and spouse name are among the information needed for the national population registration.Additional information includes your home address, phone number, email address, and biometric information such as your age-appropriate iris scan, complete set of fingerprints, front-facing photo, and full set of fingerprints.Only obtainable biometric data are recorded in the national population registration in the event that the biometric data are not entirely available.

This implies that as Rwanda moves forward in investigating and implementing technology solutions, the recently enacted data privacy and protection law should be strictly enforced.


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