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Barbadians living in New York, United States, now have a better idea of how the new Barbados identification card, the Trident Identity Card, will work and benefit them when it is launched.

They heard first-hand from Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, Davidson Ishmael, and officials from the Electoral and Boundaries Commission about its features during a virtual meeting hosted by the Consulate General at New York, recently.

Minister Ishmael told the virtual audience of over 200, that the current analog card had to be replaced because it was susceptible to fraud and was outdated in a digital world.  The new ID card is expected to provide a greater level of physical security; it is tamper-resistant and more durable than the existing card, he said.

It is one aspect of Government’s Trident Trusted Identity System – a range of offerings from the Government of Barbados related to identity management and authorisation.

The launch of the new ID card will be followed by a mobile application, Trident eID, which will link with the Trident Card to allow cardholders to prove identity for online transactions and sign documents electronically with legally binding, qualified electronic signatures from anywhere and at any time.

“Our new ID card enables support for electronic transactions both using the card itself in a physical reader, and in conjunction with the forthcoming Trident eID (the mobile app), which will allow you to confirm your identity remotely with the highest level of security.

“The new ID card still works exactly the same way as the current ID card and can be used in that manner for as long as persons choose to do so…. If a person chooses to never use any of the electronic features, it will still perform all the other tasks for which it was used previously,” the Minister explained.

However, he said the aim of the Trident Card was to make things easier to do remotely, over time.

As for the security, the new ID card will have a number of features which will reduce the possibility of if being counterfeited.  It will also have much of the same information as the current one printed on the front – Barbados ID number, surname, given names, date-of-birth, sex, nationality, date of expiry, document number, other data, a photo and sample signature.

Addressing a question about how cardholders’ personal information will be protected, Minister Ishmael assured the audience that “every effort has been made to meet the six key requirements for deploying trustworthy identity systems: security, privacy, ethics, resilience, robustness, and reliability”.

“These requirements address the importance of assuring personal data remains confidential; is only accessed by those with the right to do so, and that it is always available and retains its integrity,” he stated.

To this end, he explained that two key pieces of legislation have been introduced: The Barbados Identity Management (BIM) Act and the Barbados Data Protection Act.

“The latter is closely modelled on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, which is the acknowledged toughest privacy and security law in the world. Amendments to the Electronic Transactions Act were addressed as consequential amendments in Schedule 6 of the BIM Act,” he stated.

Persons in Barbados and those living abroad will be able to register for the Trident Identity Card online when it is announced. The card must, however, be collected in person as a security requirement. This means persons living overseas must return to Barbados to collect their cards.  Those who have caretakers can have that individual collect the card on their behalf once proof/permission is provided.

With the new card and the accompanying Trident eID mobile app, Barbadians anywhere in the world will be able to access a range of government services from wherever they are located.

The card for minors will be similar in design to the adults’ version, but will have an image of the Coat of Arms in place of the photo, similar to what now obtains. The information for the legal parent(s) or guardian(s), which was previously printed on the minor’s card, will now be accessible via a QR code.

Those who are eligible to get the new Trident Identity Card include anyone who is a citizen of Barbados; a legal resident in Barbados; students and workers who are in Barbados for six months or more; CARICOM skilled nationals; employees of the Caribbean Development Bank and other regional institutions.  In some cases, their family members will also be able to register for the new card.


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