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New data protection agency may be coming to Taiwan with national digital ID cards

New data protection agency may be coming to Taiwan with national digital ID cards

Taiwan may soon establish a new agency dedicated to personal data protection to support the secure launch of its national electronic identification (eID) cards, which are expected to be issued in 2021 after the latest production delay.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang expressed support for a new government data protection body, according to Taiwan News, suggesting that a task force including members from different areas of society will help enforce the legal protections afforded to individuals and ensure proper steps are taken to protect their information.

The independent agency would perform eID incident investigations and deal with matter related to the Personal Data Protection Act. Such a move would also bring Taiwan into better alignment with the EU’s GDPR, Tang reportedly said.

Information Law Center Director Chiou Wen-Song urged the government to proceed cautiously with its eID implementation, and cited Germany, Estonia and Japan as examples of countries that have regulations specific to digital ID.

A petition critiquing the hasty replacement of the legacy ID system, including the National Health Insurance Card, with the electronic version was signed by roughly a hundred experts earlier this year, and the Information Law Center of the Academia Sinica held a seminar this week at which Taiwan News reports academics and industry experts called for action to prevent data breaches, constitutional rights violations, and other issues.

The establishment of a new agency is opposed by the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Household Registration, which says existing legislation is sufficient.

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