Thu, Mar 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

No plans to remove identification card’s fields: government

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of the Interior yesterday rejected a media report that it planned to cancel the field for gender and adopt monochrome head shots for the seventh-generation national identification card, for which it has solicited designs from the public.

Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine earlier this month reported that the ministry is considering simplifying the layout of the card by removing the fields for gender, parents and address, but would include that information in an embedded chip.

The field for the cardholder’s spouse is to be retained, after plans to scrap it drew a strong backlash from the public, the magazine said.

As the new card is to integrate the “digital citizen certificate” — which is used when filing taxes online — and has been upgraded with anti-counterfeiting features, it would cost at least NT$8 billion (US$273.5 million) to produce, the magazine said.

The ministry would “very likely” ask people to submit black-and-white head shots for the new card to reduce costs, saving the government about NT$3 billion, the magazine said, adding that those who want to have a color photograph would have to pay extra.

The new card is scheduled to be issued next year, it said.

The ministry yesterday said the magazine report was the result of a “misunderstanding.”

There are no plans to cancel fields or replace color head shots with monochrome ones, it said.

The ministry said it was still drafting a motion to update the card, adding that the layout and issuance date were still being discussed.

The ministry is accepting entries for the design of the new card and gathering public opinion on an online forum on how to best adjust its layout, it said.

The final design is to be chosen based on convenience for identity verification, information security and minimizing the risk of information leaks, the ministry said, adding that functionality and style would also be a part of the grading criteria.

The winning designer is to receive NT$120,000, with their design to be used as an “important reference” for the new card, it said.

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