New national electronic identification cards (eID) are to be released from July next year, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said yesterday.
Regional trial runs for issuing the cards are to be held from January to June next year, before the nationwide release, Hsu said at a meeting of the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee.
Residents in Hsinchu City, Penghu County and parts of New Taipei City, including the Banciao (板橋) and Jhonghe (中和) districts, would be eligible for the trial release, he added.
Photo: screen grab from the Ministry of the Interior’s Web site
Regarding information security concerns, Hsu said that a wide range of tests would be conducted before the eID system goes online.
Using the eID for civic services would not create a record in the ministry’s database, as the records would be maintained by the agencies with which it was used, in compliance with the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法), he said.
Software and hardware for the system would be maintained in accordance with the Information and Communication Security Management Act (資通安全管理法), he said, adding that the Central Engraving and Printing Plant would manufacture the cards at a secure location, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co would produce the chips.
Anti-counterfeit features and additional mechanisms to protect personal information contained in the chip would also be in place to safeguard people’s privacy, Hsu said.
The fee to upgrade a traditional ID card to an eID is NT$300, which would increase to NT$900 the second time a person applies for an eID, he said.
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that spending NT$900 to obtain an eID would be a burden to members of the public.
Hsu said that this price was already close to the production cost of the cards.
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