Taiwan rules out biometrics for eID cards

09/10/17

New national identity cards with integrated chips proposed by Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior will not incorporate biometric data, citing privacy concerns.

The ministry had initially proposed incorporating retinal or fingerprint scan data into the cards to assist government efforts to digitize records and services, but using biometrics would only be possible with a general consensus from the public, Yeh said, adding that achieving such a consensus was unlikely.

“I personally do not support the incorporation of biometrics into identity cards … [the system] is just not suitable for Taiwan,” he said.

Department of Household Registration Affairs Director Wanda Chang said that even with public support, the department would not use biometrics.

The new cards will have the ability to incorporate personal identity verification data, which would be independent of the individual’s personal records, but the function would need to be turned on by cardholders, she said.

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