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Vietnam ramps up digital ID systems and regulations

Vietnam ramps up digital ID systems and regulations

Vietnam’s e-contract platform is gaining popularity thanks to the widespread adoption of the country’s national ID cards, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The Vietnam Electronic Contract Development Axis was launched in 2022 to enable online attestation, authentication and lookups for business contracts. The platform is run by CeCA (Certified e-Contract Authority), an electronic contract certification organization under MoIT’s Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy.

The country’s chip-based ID cards have been successfully used for authentication on the portal while the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to continue working with the Ministry of Public Security on connecting and sharing data, Vietnam Plus reports.

Vietnam started issuing chip-based ID cards in 2021 as part of its efforts to improve access to public services. One example is in health care services.

The government is also ramping up efforts to scale its digital ID system. The country’s draft Law on Citizen Identification aims to integrate more citizen data into the National Database on Population. This will allow citizens to access both public and private services by using ID cards and the National e-Identification Application (VNeID). The draft law is expected to be issued in October 2023 and will take effect on July 1, 2024.

The development of e-ID is another important policy proposed in the draft law. In April, the director of the Department of Legal Affairs and Administrative and Judicial Reform, Pham Cong Nguyen, said that data from citizens’ ID cards are being used to create their digital identity and corresponding e-ID account and e-ID card. At present, the electronic identification and authentication system is designed to accommodate 180 million visits a day to the VNeID app.

The Ministry of Public Security is working to ensure that the e-ID system is secure, Nguyen told Saigon News. Only assigned people are allowed to access the personal data of citizens within the limit of their duty. The assigned personnel will need to obtain the approval of data owners via fingerprint or face authentication. This means that even if a citizen’s ID card is stolen, criminals won’t be able to exploit the data stored on the card. Meanwhile, the victim can still use their e-ID card.

In March, the country also started issuing chip-based biometric passports.

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