Shareef: Digital ID cards decreases chances of personal data breaches

Press conference held at NCIT on digital ID card. (Photo/State Minister of Environment, Communications and Technology)

State Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Mohamed Shareef, on Thursday, stated that the introduction of digital ID cards will decrease chances of personal data breaches. 

Speaking at a press conference held at National Centre for Informational Technology (NCIT) on Thursday to brief the media on preparations underway to introduce digital ID card in the Maldives – State Minister Shareef said that once introduced, digital ID cards will not only decrease chances of personal data breaches but would also decrease chances of such information being abused by a third party.

Shareef said that the digital ID card would empower people to exercise control over their personal information. He noted that efforts were also underway to formulate a Privacy and Data Protection Act in order to assist people in this trajectory.

“Private sector will not be granted access to the information before the Privacy and Data Protection Act is in place. When the Act is enacted only, they will be granted access to the information,” he added.

Shareef, underscoring the importance of digitalization at this century, said that the introduction of digital ID card was an important task undertaken in this regard. He detailed that the government has three targets with respect to digital ID cards. They are;

  •         Ensuring the ID card can be easily made
  •         Ensuring the ID card can be used easily
  •         Ensuring the ID card will protect the personal information of a person

Shareef said that there will be ways to verify whether the service seeker is actually the owner of the ID card. They include e-mail, OTP, face ID and fingerprint.

He also noted that information on the card can only be willingly shared with another through a QR code – which is subject to change every 15 seconds. Therewith, he said the information cannot be accessed later through a picture of the QR code. Moreover, only those will authorization will be able to view information through the QR code.


Efforts are presently underway to test the digital ID cards. The government has opened opportunity for 500 people from the public have been invited to participate in the testing phase. Once digital ID card is introduced – carrying physical ID card will no longer be mandatory.