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Taiwan suspends digital ID project amid safety concerns

Legislation will safeguard privacy of users before project starts up again

eID project suspended by central government. (Ministry of the Interior photo) 

eID project suspended by central government. (Ministry of the Interior photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government decided Thursday (Jan. 21) to suspend its plan to issue electronic identity cards (eID) until new legislation is ready to safeguard privacy.

The decision, announced after the Cabinet’s regular weekly meeting, follows strong concerns about possible leaks of personal information as local governments pull out of a trial run involving the limited distribution of the cards.

The NT$4.8 billion (US$171 million) dedicated to the project will not be wasted, government officials insisted, adding that they would not draw up a timetable for the passage of the necessary legislation.

The government said reaching a societal consensus on the eID program and its safety is tantamount, CNA reported.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) pointed out that as attacks by international hackers are growing more sophisticated, he had agreed with the Ministry of the Interior’s proposal to suspend the launch of the digital cards.

The eID was designed to combine the functions of current identity cards with Citizen Digital Certificates, allowing holders to access government services online, CNA reported. National Health Insurance card and driver’s license information would also be included, while only the cardholders’ name, date, place of birth, marital status, and ID number would be readily available.

Updated : 2022-05-28 16:22 GMT+08:00