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Vietnam targets digital transformation of public services with DNA-backed ID

Vietnam targets digital transformation of public services with DNA-backed ID
 

Vietnam’s government is making a push for its national digital transformation project, formally labeled “Developing an Application for Population Database, Digital Identification and Authentication for the National Digital Transformation from 2022-2025, with a Vision to 2030,” but known colloquially as Project 06. The digital ID scheme includes the collection of face, fingerprint, iris, voice and – notably – DNA biometrics for a digital ID card, and covers a broad swath of services, from cashless payments to medical diagnoses.

A government release says that on February 11, 2024, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh signed a directive on the continued implementation of Project 06 by ministries, sectors, and localities. The directive is intended to advance practical implementation of guiding principles and policies on developing the infrastructure to support a digital economy and society.

Per the release, a list of key tasks and solutions to be prioritized includes acceleration on slow-progress tasks, the establishment of a road map, and, as a subcategory on administrative procedures, that “the Vietnam Social Security expands the deployment of biometric information verification applications on chip-based citizen identification cards at the one-stop shop of the social security offices across the country, to be completed in 2024.”

Leading the charge is Ho Chi Minh City. An article in Sài Gòn Giải Phóng, a party newspaper for the HCMC People’s Committee, says that Deputy Director of the HCMC Public Security Department Tran Duc Tai issued a report confirming improvements across the board. The HCMC Public Security Department, which is responsible for implementing Project 06 in the capital, has adopted measures to “help city dwellers updating or registering for new citizen ID cards as well as electronic identification so as to simplify administrative procedures related to residence management.”

The next major process involves linking to and sharing data with ministries and state agencies for interoperability.

The government is aware of the need for public education, and has begun PR groundwork on the implementation of the digital identity scheme, with Deputy Minister of Public Security, Nguyen Duy Ngoc, speaking at a conference earlier this month to extol the societal benefits of the program.

As specified in Vietnam’s recently implemented Law on Identification 2023, which replaced the 2014 Law on Citizen Identification, “biometric information about DNA and voice is collected when people voluntarily provide it” or by “agencies conducting criminal proceedings or agencies managing people subject to administrative handling measures.”

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