III. Privacy issues
The government imposes some limits on freedom of religion and notes individuals' religious affiliation (except for Druze and Baha'is, and other unrecognized religions) on the national identity card and in the "family book" (a national registration record that is issued to the head of every family and that serves as proof of citizenship) of all citizens. Atheists must associate themselves with a recognized religion for official identification purposes.
In September 2001, the government rolled out a new national identification smart card. The new cards feature stronger security measures and will replace the current national identification card. According to the government, however, they also carry more personal information, notably voter registration information.1 Jordan has also implemented a smart health card system in the capital. Doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, laboratories and radiology centers in Amman have electronic access to patient insurance and medical information through a card-based system of electronic record storage. Personal information contained on these cards includes everything from blood type to benefits status.2
In March 2007, Jordan launched its flight security system, eGate. This system utilizes an e-Card which stores a Jordanian citizen's identity, travel history, fingerprint and electronic travel records. Currently the system is in place at one airport, but the government hopes to expand it nationally to include all airports as well as allow Jordanian nationals abroad and foreigners also use the system.3 The program is voluntary.
- 1. Rana Husseini, "New National ID to Include Voter Information," Jordan Times, August 29, 2001.
- 2. News Release, "Cardlogix, NatHealth, IdealSoft, and Innovonics Provide Smart Card Medical Records to Country of Jordan," Cardlogix, April 9, 2000.
- 3. "eGate Project to be Launched at QAIA Next Month," Jordan Times, Jan. 22, 2007.