Taiwan to roll out electronic ID card in July 2021

Trial release will take place in certain municipalities in January

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New eID design (MOI photo)

New eID design (MOI photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The new generation of Taiwan’s national electronic identification cards (eID) will be officially introduced in July of next year, according to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

The issuance of the digital ID will be implemented in three areas starting January 2021 in trial runs, UDN quoted Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) as saying at a legislative briefing session on Monday (Oct. 5).

Residents of part of New Taipei, Penghu County, and Hsinchu City will be the first to have their IDs replaced. Events will be held to identify any software loopholes existing in the new IDs — with rewards offered, Hsu added.

The cards will be manufactured by the Central Engraving and Printing Plant at a secured venue under strict supervision, while the chips will be produced by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), wrote CNA.

Addressing the issue of information security that has dogged the eID policy since its conception, the official reiterated that the electronic version discloses less personal data than the traditional one. He also sought to reassure the public of the safety of the eID, which comes with anti-counterfeit features.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted plans to release the eID this year, as the technologies required were not imported from abroad soon enough. Academics have clamored for the enactment of specific regulations to govern the eID, citing unresolved issues, including potential data breaches, accountability, and the justification for collecting the digital footprints of citizens.