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Taiwan puts digital ID project on hold, Japan plans to expand use of My Number card

Taiwan puts digital ID project on hold, Japan plans to expand use of My Number card

Taiwan authorities says they are deferring plans for the issuance of a digital ID card until crucial issues related to data privacy concerns are thrashed out, Taiwan Times reports.

This comes as Japan, under the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, is looking to set up an agency in order to expand the usage of its 12-digit My Number digital ID card, namely by linking it up to a variety of uses, according to an article by The Japan Times.

According to Taiwan Times, Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang has announced that an inter-ministerial committee will have to meet on the issue in order to sort out a number of technical issues including potential data breaches, as well as the setting up of a legal framework for the implementation of the eID project.

The report said the move by the Premier comes after several stakeholders raised diverse concerns regarding the project which was initially scheduled to be rolled out in October 2020, but was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Those concerns sparked a lawsuit filed towards the end of 2021.

Other issues with the Taiwan digital ID card project, per Taiwan Times, have to do with reported foreign (Chinese) equipment maker contracting. But Taiwan’s Interior Ministry has reportedly insisted that the cards will be produced in Taiwan.

Japan wants more holders of My Number card

Meanwhile, in Japan, plans are afoot for the setting up of a digital agency which will, among other things, work to ensure that the My Number digital ID card gets many more holders in the coming months.

A detailed write-up by The Japan Times noted that issuance of the card, which is embed with an IC chip, started in 2016 but the number of Japanese interested in it remains low because of data privacy fears and the limited nature of services one can access with the card, among other reasons.

Citing the Japanese minister of digital transformation, the report highlights the fact that apart from efforts to put in place a legal framework for the cards, authorities are mulling the possibility of increasing the number of case uses for it.

For example, there are plans to link the My Number card to holders’ bank accounts, allowing for the opening of a bank account online, the report notes.

Apart from the services already available on the card, its holders can use it both as an ordinary identification piece, and as a digital ID authentication credential for access to the country’s online one-stop administrative service, Mynaportal, The Japan Times notes.

Since the issuance of the card began in January 2016, just about 25 million of them have been issued, but Japanese authorities say they intend to issue double that number by the end of March. It is also their wish to see all Japanese hold the card by 2023, according to Japan Times.

This move by Japan is also seen as part of efforts by the government of the world’s third largest economy to step up its digital economy transformation drive and ensure that a vast majority of the country’s citizens can have access to an array of services without recourse to much paper work.

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