Taiwan privacy advocates file lawsuit against government digital ID plans

Led by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights
Taiwan privacy advocates file lawsuit against government digital ID plans

More than 50 professionals filed a suit against Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) on Monday, demanding stronger data protection and privacy measures ahead of the roll-out of electronic ID (eID) cards nationwide next year.

The move, reported by daily newspaper Taiwan News, was led by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR).

Following the beginning of the digital identity scheme, all nationals will have to replace their traditional cards with a digital ID, making their existing cards immediately invalid.

Given the mandatory enrollment into the new registration system, the suit is not the first time privacy advocates in Taiwan have expressed concern about the scheme.

In April, the country announced it was delaying its planned launch to October due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while 100 individuals had already signed a petition against it.

A few months later, Digital Minister Audrey Tang expressed support for the creation of a new agency dedicated to personal data protection, after the scheme was postponed again to the first half of 2021.

Privacy supporters also claimed that Chinese programmers were behind the development of the new registration system.

According to Taiwan News, the allegations were denied by Taiwanese company International Integrated Systems, which developed the technology behind the digital identity scheme.

Privacy advocates are still looking into these claims, however, and an additional court session will take place on December 8, following the judges’ request on Monday for more documents from the MOI in support of its claims the system is safe to deploy.

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