Another use of the biometric national identity card will be for the elderly to travel in Mauritian buses free of charge. At a scheduled date, the old NIC will be out-of-date and old people will be obliged to present the new one when travelling in public transport vehicles. This was declared by Rao Ramah during the court proceedings of the ongoing case filed against the State concerning the biometric card in question.
The biometric National identity Card (NIC) will soon be used for the purpose of free transport for the elderly: once the old NIC becomes obsolete, they will have to present their biometric one to travel onboard Mauritian buses for free – such is what the Project Director of the Mauritius National Identity Scheme (MNIS), Rao Rama, declared yesterday, 8th of September, in Supreme Court as he testified for the trial contesting the MNIS.
The court case in question was filed by Dr Maharajah Madhewoo who considers the project involving the biometric NIC to be infringing upon his privacy as it requires for his fingerprint data to be recorded. Rao Rama was thus called to testify for the State. He maintained that the MNIS has as aim to build a specific system for the purpose, and is unlike the current NIC which is liable to being illegally reproduced. Rao Rama explained that the biometric NIC will be useful in a number of other sectors as well. For instance, the elderly who benefit from free bus transport will need to present their biometric NIC instead of the current one. Furthermore, Rao Rama added that the biometric NIC will only be used for identification purposes and that it does not contain a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, arguing that the setting up of a “Big Brother State” is not on the agenda.
However, according to Ish Sookun, the expert witness brought by the plaintiff, the biometric NIC does have loopholes. Isk Sookun related that the database storing the information of the NIC might be vulnerable to security issues.