The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on Thursday launched Pakistan’s first data protection service—dubbed ‘Ijazat Aap Ki’—granting citizens the right to choose when and how their personal information can be used.
According to a statement issued by NADRA, citizens who subscribe to the service will have to provide explicit consent for the use of their personal data before their identity cards are used for any third-party endeavor. This, it says, will ensure that their sensitive data is protected and secure at all times.
Guaranteeing that the confidentiality of citizens’ data will be protected by efficient measures, NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik said consent management was a digital mechanism in line with his vision to protect citizens’ privacy and strengthen data security. “Your data is your personal property, and just like your physical property, citizens are from now onwards empowered to control access and protect it against misuse or unwarranted use,” he said.
Explaining how the system would function, he said that service providers such as banks and telecommunication companies would seek permission from citizens through a passcode before using their personal information. The six-digit passcode would be sent to a citizen’s registered mobile number for approval before any data is shared. Only after the passcode has been presented for authentication would a citizen’s consent be deemed to have been granted for the use of their ID number.
According to the chairman, NADRA would collect citizens’ mobile numbers when they register for an ID card. He said the authority had also launched an SMS service to enable citizens to submit their mobile numbers. People with valid ID cards who wish to register for the service, he said, could send a text message with the ID card number to 8009. NADRA would send a confirmation message to the sender when the enrollment is successful, he added.