Brazil readies digital ID launch

The service is set to launch in November as the government advances plans to increase data interoperability to tackle issues such as benefit fraud.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Brazil is preparing to launch its national digital identity service as the government advances a data interoperability agenda aimed to tackle issues such as benefit fraud.

According to the body responsible for the National Civil Identification (ICN) program, the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Brazilian states are currently being assessed to determine their preparedness for the digital ID scheme.

Technical requirements for the initial launch of the National Identification Document (DNI) in November include the number of citizens already registered in the national biometric database in that state, as well as the number of locations available to perform the validations needed within the mobile app that will centralize citizen data.

Some 100 million Brazilians out of a total population of over 210 million people had their biometric data captured by the TSE so far. The main initial goal, according to the authority, was to reduce electoral fraud.

In addition to voting card information, the Brazilian digital ID repository is launching with social security data. According to TSE, the data from the ICN program could be used by the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) to reduce benefit fraud.

The future roadmap for the project will see the inclusion of other documents such as driving licenses, birth and marriage certificates as well as public healthcare registration data and eventually, ID cards - which every Brazilian citizen already holds.

The initial idea for DNI was first floated back in 1997, when determined the merging of the state-level registration systems into a future unified ID registry.

In 2008, TSE began to gradually re-register voters using biometric information. The DNI project was approved in 2017 and trials took place in 2018, with TSE staff testing the digital ID in February and members of parliament and civil servants in central government in joining the trial in May.

Brazil's digital ID service is expected to be fully implemented in 2020.

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