Bahrain plans smart ID cards

Bahrain plans to introduce by June a national identity card embedded with a smart chip that would store a wealth of personal and administrative data.

    The gulf state's system would be the first in the Arab world

    "Many countries have applied the idea of the smart card but in a limited scope," Ahmad bin Attiyat Allah al-Khalifa, deputy head of the national centre for statistics, said on Tuesday.

    "We intend to allow citizens to carry one card instead of the many cards they have to carry."

    Al-Khalifa said the "comprehensive" Bahraini programme would be the first of its kind in the Arab world and only the third globally after Malaysia and Hong Kong.

    The United Arab Emirates said in October it would launch a similar national card.

    The Gulf state said it was working with French telecommunication and electronics company Sagem to develop the programme, but without giving a launch date.

    British debate

    Britain also announced in October it would implement a compulsory national ID card, citing the need to be in harmony with similar programmes in other European Union states.

    But British civil liberty groups fear the introduction of such a system would give the government too much power to track individuals.

    Authorities, however, see such cards as vital tools in fighting crime and terrorist groups.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.