The National ID “smart card” idea continues to take hold

yet no answers to the questions I asked are forthcoming, even though the same article has been sent twice to the national papers in Bahrain. No one seems to be interested in protecting their most basic of human rights: privacy. Amazing.

Now the BDF (Bahrain Defence Forces) Hospital which is one of the leading hospitals on the island just signed a contract to use these cards to access patient records, lab tests and various other information.

DOCTORS and paramedics will soon have instant access to life-saving information on patients, thanks to Bahrain’s smart card system.

BDF Hospital yesterday signed an agreement with the Central Informatics Organisation, which will make it the first hospital to implement the system.

People’s medical records will be saved on the new “smart” Central Population Register (CPR) cards, which will be introduced early next year.

This will give doctors, paramedics and other medical staff instant access to vital information, said Royal Medical Services commander Brigadier Dr Shaikh Salman bin Atiyatallah Al Khalifa.

“Paramedics will be able to get the medical information of the patient’s smart card and that will help them determine the best course of treatment,” he said.

“They could also inform the hospital en route of the patient’s condition electronically, by using a GSM device that will be installed in the ambulance, helping staff at the hospital to assess the condition more accurately.”

Great. Although it can and most probably will save people’s lives because doctors will have information about the patient at their fingertips through this smart card, we still don’t know – and it appears that we never will know – how that information is stored, secured and accessed. Who has access to what information stored on the card?

Next step… take this complaint to the parliament.

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2 Comments
  • mahmood
    31 July 2003

    They finally published the letter

    The GDN finally published my letter regarding the forthcoming national ID card today…

  • anonymous
    26 February 2005

    The National ID “smart card” idea continues to take hold

    Ok..this is how the Health app is secured.

    As I mentioned in my other comment, every app in the smart card is protected by firewall. To access the health data, a Health SAM(thats a Secure Access Module) is needed. The card gives a challenge, which response is given back by the SAM. If you have no SAM, no luck you can read anything, no access even. Now these SAM devices are given only to authorised and trusted(a keyword here) Health personnels and even the access to the SAMs are protected by Admin username/password.

    If you have any more and concerns and if I can disseminate them(without any confidential infos, that is) please do email me at congkak at gee mail dot com.

    On security, you are not the only ones concerned about this. PPL like yours truly are going to make sure that security IS the most paramount thing. I’m not sure whether my words can give you a peace of mind but anyway….

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