Work permit holders will be biometrically ID’ed

According to bid
documents made public Friday, the Cayman
Islands government intends to establish a system that would allow it
to biometrically identify work permit holders.

That biometric enrolment
– to be used for the verification of a work permit holder’s identity upon entry
or exit at Cayman’s various ports of call – will be entered into the Immigration
Department’s current records system, according to bid documents seeking
proposals for such a system.

The Immigration
Department originally said that it planned to implement a fingerprinting process
for foreign nationals who work in Cayman sometime during the fourth quarter of
this year.

However, biometrics can
go well beyond fingerprinting to include face recognition, DNA, palm prints, and
iris recognition. The science of biometrics can also be used to identify
individuals based on certain behavioural characteristics such as typing rhythms,
gait or voice recognition.

According to the 75-page
request for proposal, the successful bidder would not only provide the
Immigration Department with the ability to biometrically enrol work permit
holders; they would also be able to upgrade and replace the current fingerprinting
system used by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

A modern Automated
Fingerprint Identification System would allow police to print suspects during
police field operations and integrate those fingerprints with the
police mug shot database, according to the bid documents.

Moreover, the bids seek
to create a system that would allow – to a certain extent – police and
immigration to search each others’ identification systems.

The integration means
there would be “controlled search of biometric records between the systems as
may be required”.

The date to respond to
the bids was listed as 19 November.


  1. National Security operations in the making. With this at least we will have some command and control of authorized entry; and With continued help from the UK unauthorized entry through illegal landing should also be addressed.

  2. The biggest problem with biometric IDs is the invasion of privacy. Which segment of the government will own this data, and what measures will they take to keep it safe? Will this information be available to other nations? How do we know the other countries will protect our privacy? Collecting personal information about people is OK when the system is working, but if there’s a hiccup, your life could be in ruins! If our personal information is not properly protected, then the Caymanian government has just created an easy way to have our identities stolen. One more thing, if you’re Caymanian and you think you’re safe, just wait. As soon as the government determines that fingerprinting expats is a success, the citizens of Cayman are next.

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