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FETC urged to improve service
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-10 06:40 PM
Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co. (FETC) was commissioned by National Freeway Bureau to set up the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) service, which has drawn severe criticism this week for overcharging errors, privacy, and security concerns. Minister of Transport and Communications (MOTC) Yeh Kuang-shih said on Friday that the ministry would consider terminating service contract with FETC and appoint a new operator in 2015 if problems remain by the end of this year.

Since the launch of a "pay as you go" freeway policy on January 2, some drivers have found that they had been charged twice for the same freeway trip with their eTag after checking their records. Under the new automated freeway toll system, drivers have to use eTag to access the electronic toll collection system. However, in addition to the erroneous billing such as duplicate and simultaneous charges, eTag system was also attacked by hackers earlier this month, spawning worries among drivers about personal information being leaked.

DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling said FETC's information security is too weak and could easily fall into prey to hackers. A FETC spokeswoman admitted that information security system does need improvement, but so far no personal information of eTag users was leaked in the hacking incident.

Kuan also pointed out that the FETC is planning to build up a cloud platform that put eTag users, GPS positioning, mobile texting, and other services together into an integrated national transportation service platform, which Kuan considers as a privacy infringement.

Asked by media in an event held by Tourism Bureau, Yeh indicated that although FETC decides to refund six-fold of the overcharged money over a one-year period, MOTC is expecting a more stable ETC system to run. "Additional refund to freeway drivers is just a mean of compensation, FETC should prevent error from happening again," said Yeh.

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