China uses biometric eID with chat network

27/12/17

The government of Guangzhou in China’s southern coastal province of Guangdong has issued an electronic identity card for use with WeChat, an online messaging platform from Tencent. 

By using its facial recognition feature, citizens in Guangzhou can apply for and obtain a black-and-white e-ID, reports Chinese daily newspaper Beijing Youth Daily. It serves the same purpose as the traditional state-issued identity cards and will be tested in Guangdong Province before being rolled out across the country in January 2018.

The introduction of the e-ID card is mainly to prevent personal data leakage and identification forgery, stated Yan Dong, a police spokesperson from Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau Nanshan District.

Yan added that the process of generating the e-ID card is safe and will not retain any information. It is almost impossible to counterfeit an e-ID card since the information is bound to the owner’s face, fingerprint and an ID chip.

In addition, by gathering enough data from e-ID card users, the police can compare and verify it with the Public Security Bureau’s database.

The programme was co-developed by the research institute of the Ministry of Public Security and Tencent’s WeChat team, as well as supported by the China Construction Bank and ten other agencies.

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