TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hsinchu City will not take part in a pilot project to distribute new electronic identity cards (eID) on a limited scale in January due to safety concerns, the mayor confirmed Saturday (Dec. 26).
The introduction of the eID had already been postponed from last October to 2021 because of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but a variety of groups also expressed concerns about security aspects of the digital cards.
While the new IDs were originally designed in France, the Ministry of Interior rejected claims that the manufacturer’s factory was located in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, causing worry that the communist nation might gain access to private details of Taiwanese citizens.
Hsinchu City’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) said Saturday he stood on the side of his citizens, and that as members of the public, experts and social groups still harbored doubts about the cards, he thought it better to postpone their launch, CNA reported.
Last October, the DPP-led central government named Penghu County, New Taipei City and Hsinchu City as areas where residents of some districts would be able to apply for the eIDs first. However, Penghu and New Taipei pulled out of the trial run, leaving Hsinchu City as the only area.
Lin said his decision would stand as long as there were doubts about the security of the new cards. The eID will incorporate the National Health Insurance Card and driver’s license information. Identification technologies will be applied to deter digital theft, while only the cardholder’s name, date and place of birth, marital status and ID number readily available.