Date
21 September 2017
The new Hong Kong identitiy card will be chock full of security features but some legislators worry about its use of technology that allows non-touch data access. Photo: HKEJ
The new Hong Kong identitiy card will be chock full of security features but some legislators worry about its use of technology that allows non-touch data access. Photo: HKEJ

Two-step security authentication for theft-proof new ID

Hong Kong’s new identity cards will feature a two-step security authentication process that makes it impossible for hackers to remotely steal data.

The authentication process can only be activated after the card is swiped through a reader, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday, citing the Security Bureau.

Also, wireless data transmission remains inactive when the card is in a wallet or in a closed bag, it said.

The new card will be launched in 2018.

An encryption key provides a second layer of security. The technology is widely used in German, Italian and Swiss passports.

The Immigration Department will adopt the German identity card model which uses a decoder that makes it impossible to tamper with cardholder information unless the machine itself is stolen, the report said.

However, some legislators have expressed concern about the new Hong Kong identity card, mainly because of its use of radio frequency identification transmission technology that allows non-touch data access.

Also, there are fears the technology could be used by others, including the police, as a surveillance tool.

The government will spend about HK$2.9 billion (US$374 million) to replace more than eight million identity cards by 2022.

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TL/AC/RA

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