Friday, October 24, 2008

Mad rush

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy explains the function if the Ident-I-Eze card like this:
    There are so many different ways in which you are required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life can easily become extremely tiresome just from that fact alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an ambiguous universe.

    Just look at cashpoint machines, for instance.

    Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant genetic analysis.

    Hence the Ident-I-Eze.

    This encodes every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you can carry around in your wallet, thereby representing technology’s greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense.

The Emirates Identity Authority is administering this. In keeping with traditional local custom and practice, nothing happens for ages, and then an ambiguous piece of legislation suddenly pops into existence requiring instant action. Gulf News records the problems people are having trying and failing to register on line. And 7DAYS, under the headline threatening “Jail for false info” says that “Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and teachers will all have to have ID cards which will contain face and fingerprint scans, passport and driving licence details, their addresses and residency status.” Along with allergies, sexual orientation, political persuasion and religious beliefs. I might be making up these last few.

After paying the Dh100 tax fee, the card will have to be shown for “…any kind of negotiations with government departments or banks.” and when …“opening a bank account, visiting doctors, registering for a mobile phone or registering children into a school.”

There will no longer be a need to produce a passport and visa copy when registering the car, applying for a phone or electricity service, or renting a flat. Well, that makes it all worthwhile, doesn’t it? Assuming, of course, that the jobsworth behind the counter doesn't continue to demand the passport copy in addition to the ID card because he's not been instructed otherwise. And I bet every official will need a photocopy of the ID card too; whizzing it through a card reader will certainly not be inconvenient good enough.

As for the sudden mad rush, what’s wrong with including the ID card process with Residence Visa applications or renewals? To simple I suppose. Too obvious, and far too sensible.



Seabee said...

In keeping with traditional local custom and practice, nothing happens for ages, and then an ambiguous piece of legislation suddenly pops into existence requiring instant action.

Also in keeping with tradition, only after the call centre and website crash because of the panic their announcement caused do they realise they need to increase their capacity to handle the volume.

Keefieboy said...

This sucks. Bigtime.

i*maginate said...

The rest of your penultimate para encapsulates what I was about to 'detail' in my comment, but no need to ellaborate now, lol!

Old habits die hard...

Don't forget to write your mobile number on the back of the cheque.


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