Belarus postpones biometric ID plans
04 October 2018 12:08 GMT

Belarus has had to postpone its biometric ID plans citing technological challenges.

The introduction of biometric documents including ID cards and passports has been postponed till 2020 because of the need to integrate information systems, reported SB Belarus Segodnya, quoting the deputy head of the citizenship, passports and outward travel authority of the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Belarusian Internal Affairs Ministry Pavel Khrishchenovich, reported BelTA.

The online newspaper added that first new documents – ID cards and biometric passports – will be available starting from 1 January 2020, not in 2019 as it was planned before.

Khrishchenovich, said however that everything is in place to start issuing the documents.

“We will receive the necessary equipment by the end of the year and in theory we could launch ID cards and biometric passports from the onset of the next year. However, we realize that it makes no sense yet, as it will be bare plastic,” he noted. It is necessary to interconnect all information systems to which a citizen will have access. Today all these databases are operated on different platforms.

“We have drafted a roadmap to implement this project together with the Communications and Informatization Ministry. The document has 15 pages and clearly defines who will be in charge of various stages of the work to put the new system in place,” Pavel Khrishchenovich said.

The newspaper also reported him saying that one of the stages is setting up the country's first data personalization center. It will accumulate information from all the citizenship and migration offices in a real-time mode. By 2020 every citizenship and migration office will receive "robotic devices" that have already been purchased from a Chinese company. They will be able to take a photo and fingerprints of a person on their own. This information will be the basis for new identity documents.