A report by a group of legal experts on Monday recommended delaying the rollout of the new national electronic identification card (eID) highlighting what they see as three major issues in the Ministry of the Interior’s current plan.
Academia Sinica Information Law Center director Chiou Wen-tsong (邱文聰) convened a working group of experts to write the 248-page report on the eID plan ahead of its planned introduction in July next year.
The group said an ill-prepared introduction might lead to “immediate and serious threats” to the nation’s democratic system.
The mandated adoption of the eID might be unconstitutional, they said, adding that there was a lack of accountability concerning the “smart government” plan, of which the eID would be part.
Information security for the eID is insufficient, as the ministry has only emphasized that chips would be produced domestically, but lacked oversight over other technical systems, they said.
The ministry has outsourced chip design, operating system development, manufacturing of chip-writing equipment, data application software and other features, threatening the security of the entire system, the experts said.
The two contractors tasked with chip design, blank card manufacturing and providing data-writing equipment to the Central Engraving and Printing Plant allegedly have relationships with Chinese security agencies, they said.
Design of the chip module and operating system, as well as the manufacturing of data-writing equipment might be done at overseas factories that have ambiguous ties to the Chinese government, they added.
“Do not think that there is no danger just because the wafers are produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co,” the experts said.
They also raised concern over the surveillance threat inherent to digitization, saying that the nation’s current laws governing information security are insufficient to meet the challenges that might likely arise.
The experts recommended that the government postpone the eID plan until it addresses these privacy and security issues.
The government must first create a legal basis for the system, and ensure individual rights and security are safeguarded, they said.
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