Sometimes, I follow up reports of our local newspapers that reveal how people (citizens and expatriates) underestimate the ID card. For this reason, the Emirates ID Authority should go ahead with its campaigns to tell the ID users how to make the optimal use of such highly important card and how to protect it from any abuse by people with bad or criminal intentions.
Many see this critical card as just a paid tool to complete the requirements of visa for residents or a transaction in one place or another. This is obviously reflected in the large numbers of the ID cards left at the Emirates Post offices waiting for the cardholders to pick them up.
People may promptly report to the bank that they have lost their ATM or credit cards or report lost passports but they may be less interested or slow when they lost their ID cards.
Here I will discuss this issue in light of the increasing number of ID card abuse cases where phone numbers were extracted and mobile phones or other items were purchased using the lost or stolen cards.
Perhaps, the most dangerous crime is that when such cards and documents are used to obtain bank loans and credit facilities. The cardholder will not know about these transactions until he/ she suddenly faces a flow of claims and calls from everywhere.
The revealed cases showed that criminals have been assisted by employees who work for such institutions such as the case of an operating bank and a major telecommunications company.
Along with our calls for intensifying awareness campaigns to persuade the public to keep and protect their ID cards, the Emirates ID Authority is also urged to raise the level of security in the ID card, given the Authority’s long experience in innovation and advanced technology. Any transaction completed using the ID card should be reported to the cardholder by an SMS. Temporary freeze should also be available to prevent the use of the card after it has been reported to be lost. There are many advanced technologies that the Emirates ID Authority knows better and can apply them to enhance ID card security. However, it is still the responsibility of the cardholder to prevent the ID card from going to the wrong hands that can use it for criminal purposes. When we provide a copy of the ID card, we should sign it indicating that the copy has been submitted by us for a specific transaction.