The Kiribati parliament has passed the first reading of its National Identity Registration Bill.
If it becomes law it will require the government, for the first time, to keep a database of the ages, education and employment of the people of Kiribati.
Justice Minister Natan Teewe, who brought the bill to parliament, said government believes the bill will improve service delivery to the public.
Mr Teewe said he was aware that many i-Kiribati, especially in the outer islands are very sensitive about their private information.
But he said they would not be asked to divulge information about their businesses or finances.
A number of MPs during the debate criticised the costs associated with the IDs and also raised questions about the need for mechanisms to protect private information.
Mr Teewe told parliament the government would look into these concerns to ensure the Bill achieves its purpose and that risks are identified and addressed.