Iran – Electronic ID Scheme Ends in March 2019

By | November 18, 2017

Secretary of Iran High Council of Cyberspace says every Iranian will have a smart ID card, a cyber identification number, and a digital signature by March 2019.

According to the council’s website, Abolhassan Firouzabadi said, “Smart ID cards, cyber identification numbers and digital signatures are key to establishing and promoting e-governance.

Every real and legal person should have a cyber identification number.”

Issuance of e-IDs is a joint project of the Telecoms Ministry, High Council of Cyberspace, and the National Organization for Civil Registration.

Firouzabadi says many national projects cannot be carried out before implementation of the smart ID scheme.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani has introduced several projects in the field of e-governance including an electronic healthcare system though which each citizen’s medical history will be stored in an online database and instead of using old school insurance booklets and paper medicine prescription all the medical procures will be carried out online.

Firouzabadi is of the opinion that introduction of electronic IDs will pave the way for the efficient implementation of such schemes.

“Through the scheme, each person’s personal information will be stored in a single card paired to the cyber ID number,” he has been quoted as saying.

Simply put, instead of carrying half a dozen cards (ID card, driving license, debit cards, and even insurance booklets) people will have a single smart ID card with all the related information stored in it. Making use of the card and their cyber ID, they can draw money from banks, use health care services and more.

The government has already started issuance of e-IDs. According to the Head of NOCR Hamid Derakhshan every month 1.2 million smart ID cards are issued.

“The cards are delivered to the people within two weeks after registration.”

According to Derakhshan, the judiciary and local banks will contribute to the implementation of the smart ID scheme. He did not elaborate.

Each person should pay 310,000 rials ($8) for the smart ID card. An estimated 25 million cards had been issued until August.

Iranian expats will soon be able to register for the smart ID cards through Iran’s diplomatic missions in their countries of domicile.

Firouzabadi suggested that the cyber ID could also be used for regulating online actives. He did not provide details. Hypothetically the government can ‘require’ citizens to use their official cyber ID numbers for using online services.

However, since most Iranians use foreign online services offered by companies with no ties with the local government it is not certain whether such plans can be carried out.

Local officials look warily at the exponential growth of social media networks in recent years.

Millions of Iranians are active on social platforms like Instagram and Internet-based messaging applications like Telegram.

Some senior officials have demanded the government impose restrictions on the use of Internet and social media.

But so far the Rouhani administration has refused to comply and insists that the days of such limitations and controls belong to the past.

One of the main reasons not to crackdown on the Internet as mentioned by senior aides to the president plus independent experts is the negative impact it will have on the economy and businesses struggling to forge closer ties to the outside world.

Source: Financial Tribune

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