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Multiple information electronic ID cards to be reviewed for issuing in Vietnam

15:09 | 18/08/2020

If the proposal of issuing chip-based identity cards is endorsed by the government, Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security shall implement the project of electronic ID cards to people.

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Smart cards expected to keep up with international standards

According to VOV News, the chip-based identity card is smart card that is produced according to international standards and requirements with the latest encryption codes.

The issuance of smart card is expected to be completed in July 2021 at the latest for all citizens from 14 years of age, according to Major General To Van Hue, head of the Department for Administrative Management of Social Order under the Ministry of Public Security.

multiple information electronic id cards to be reviewed for issuing in vietnam
Major General To Van Hue, head of the Department for Administrative Management of Social Order under the Ministry of Public Security. Photo: Ba Do

Information of 20 different fields like insurance, driving license, tax, health insurance, among others would be incorporated into the card in a project that is now available for comments from relevant agencies, the police officer said.

The card, which is designed to be encrypted, would store facial recognition features, fingerprints, and anthropometry, he added.

Notably, the card would be highly secure without counterfeiting and unauthorized installation. It can store much more information than identity (ID) card with barcode that has been issued since 2016.

Explaining the time to issue the electronic card, he said Vietnam couldn’t conduct this project until now thanks to a cheaper cost from domestic production of chips.

An improvement followed by launching national population database in 2021

According to Vietnam News, The national population database would be completed by April next year to improve State management of citizens. It is said that 59 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide had finished collecting information from about 80 million people.

The ministry has connected the ID card database with the national population system. A national centre for population and ID numbers will be set up in December this year.

Minister of Public Security To Lam asked police departments at all levels to complete legal procedures to put into operation the system, noting that while building the database, units must ensure progress and follow the law.

multiple information electronic id cards to be reviewed for issuing in vietnam
Major General To Van Hue, head of the Department for Administrative Management of Social Order under the Ministry of Public Security. Photo: Ba Do

“Information on the national population database must be accurate and updated,” he said.

He also ordered public security ministry agencies to share data with other ministries and sectors while ensuring information security.

The project to build the national population database with a total investment of more than VND 3.3 trillion (US$150 million) was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in 2015.

The Ministry of Public Security is responsible for building the database to store, standardise, digitise and manage the basic information of all Vietnamese citizens.

The plan includes building technical infrastructure, leasing transmission infrastructure, and building application software systems. Advanced technologies that are in use globally will be employed to ensure maximum efficiency and security in building the Vietnamese database, Youth News reported.

The project will form the basic content of the national scheme to simplify administrative procedures, citizenship documents and databases related to population management.

Controversial viewpoints of experts over issuing

Commenting on the move, Dr. Nguyen Truong Thang, head of Institute of Information Technology under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, said it should consider the necessity of the card issuance and cost.

“The issuance really matters if it’s available for only several million people in urban city, but is not helpful for dozens of millions of people in rural areas,” VnExpress cited Thang as saying.

multiple information electronic id cards to be reviewed for issuing in vietnam
Citizens' data is collected and updated online. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

Major General Nguyen Thanh Hong, member of the National Assembly’s Commission for Defense and Security, pointed out both pros and cons of this kind of card, saying that it will be in line with the international trend thanks to the abolishment of procedures and papers but the project will cost a huge amount of money.

Mr. Hong said the project on national database on population and renewed ID card costs more than VND3 trillion (US$130.4 million) and predicted that the chip-based ID project would cost more than that.

He added that the project will be effective if the Ministry of Public Security completes the national database on population to make the database synchronous with that of other sectors.

multiple information electronic id cards to be reviewed for issuing in vietnam
Police in Hanoi get fingerprints to make ID card with barcode. Photo: Giang Huy

Over the past 63 years, the ID card in Vietnam has undergone five times of changes. The first 9-digit ID card made debut in 1957. It was renewed in 1964 and 1999. The 12-digit ID card was introduced in 2012 and ID with barcode was churned out in 2016. This kind of card is now available in 16 cities and provinces, Hanoi Times reported.

The Law on Citizen Identification in 2014 stipulates that people from 14 years old are eligible to get an ID card and it will be renewed when they turn to 25, 40, and 60 years old. It will also serve to disseminate laws and policies concerning population management.

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