Illegal to hold or misuse customers' ID cards: Eida

The Emirates Identity Authority has warned private sector organisations and commercial outlets against misusing the Emirates ID cards of their customers for purposes of rewards, discounts or sales points, as well as against detaining the ID cards against services provided.

The Emirates ID stressed that private sector organisations were not authorised to make it mandatory for their customers to produce their Emirates ID cards and misuse the cards for any type of commercial purposes, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the Emirates Identity Authority and the ID cards and endangering the confidentiality of the customers’ personal data stored in the cards.

It called upon all the citizens and residents who hold Emirates ID cards to responsibly protect their cards and the personal data they contained. The Emirates ID pointed out that they were not obliged to produce their ID cards for any private entity not legally entitled to ask for them or not possessing official permission from the Authority to use the ID cards as a component in offering their services.

The Emirates Identity Authority has reiterated its oft-stated position that the national ID card cannot be held by any public or private institution against providing services.

"Institutions are not allowed to withhold the Emirates ID card neither pertaining to their employees nor to their visitors. They can’t keep the ID cards unless it was based on adjudication from a court of law. They are only allowed to take the personal data on the ID cards," said Emirates ID.

"Cardholders whose ID cards were held according to the law can check with the respective authority, whereas in case the card was held illegally, cardholders can refer the case to the judicial authorities," it pointed out.

Emirates ID clarified that cardholders should know the legal capacity of the entity or person asking for the ID card to be presented in order to avoid falling victims to fraud.

"The executive regulation of the Decree No. 2 for 2004 under which the Emirates ID was established stipulates that the ID card issued by the Authority contains a unified number and readable data in addition to other data included in the electronic chip that can be read electronically. The ID card is also equipped with security features to maintain the privacy of its holder," it added.

"As per the executive regulations of the Federal Law No. 9 of 2006 relating to the population register and the ID card, a cardholder should carry their cards at all times and present it whenever requested according to law. It also stipulates that whoever finds an ID card doesn’t have the right to keep it, instead he/she should immediately hand it to the nearest Emirates ID centre or police station. A circular regarding the duties of the cardholder has already been issued by the Authority," Emirates ID underlined.

"In the broader sense of the law, the two phrases: ‘to present it whenever requested according to law’ and ‘unless it was based on adjudication from a specialised court of law’ implicitly mean that the holder of the adjudication has the right to withhold the ID card as the adjudication in the legal terminology may refer to constitution, a federal decree, a local decree, a ministerial resolution, a verdict, a notice, official instructions or circulars, to name a few. At the same time, ‘adjudication’ can only be given based on a ministerial resolution," Emirates ID clarified.

Emirates ID stressed that in case the ID card was held in line with the law by a judicial officer, the cardholder can check with the officer’s respective authority.

"In public interest, Emirates ID reiterates that it is not allowed to tamper with, erase or modify the ID card, and that it is important to carry the ID card at all times, present it in case requested according to law and follow the rules and procedures related to the ID card renewal, replacement or collection," the statement stressed.

Emirates ID has urged the general public to communicate with it when necessary through its own communication channels; including telephone number (600530003), its social media pages on Facebook and Twitter and the instant chatting service available on its website, in addition to its customer service centers across country," Emirates ID stressed.


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