UAE to embed National IDs into mobile phones

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The United Arab Emirates signed a deal with telecom company, Etisalat, to embed citizens' national ID information into mobile phones, Electronic Fontier Foundation (EFF) reported on Thursday.

Organisations such as the EFF have shown in the past how smart phone users’ habits and location can be tracked via the phone’s GPS system. Combined with this new system UAE authorities will presumably know the identity of the mobile phone user, their location thanks to the GPS system, and in most cases what they are doing.

This new system, soon-to-be introduced in the Emirates, clearly appears as a threat to the freedom of movement and constitutes an invasion of the individual's personal privacy.

The telecommunication Etisalat worked with the UAE in the past to install a malware (a software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer or the data it contains) on Smartphones and especially Blackberry devices. At the time the measure which aimed at “spying on mobile users” was described as a "network upgrade".

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