Privacy concerns raised as proposed citizen ID card amendments debated

March, 18/2023 - 08:05
Despite widespread support for the proposal, concerns regarding the security of sensitive data have also been raised.
The ongoing 21st session of the 15th National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee in Hà Nội yesterday. VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — A proposal to incorporate more information into citizen identification cards has garnered much attention at the ongoing 21st session of the National Assembly Standing Committee held in Hà Nội.

Despite widespread support for the proposal, concerns regarding the security of sensitive data have also been raised.

During this session, the committee discussed the proposed policies which aim to amend regulations without altering the crux of the law, said Hoàng Thanh Tùng, Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee on Legal Affairs.

While most of the Standing Committee members agreed with the proposed policy to add more information to the card, many expressed concerns about the potential of data leaks.

They suggested only granting the right to access information in the card to serve management work and transactions of the citizen in specific cases.

Lạng Sơn Province’s police procedures to issue identification cards for residents in Vĩnh Trại Commune. VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn

Identification card for citizens under 14

During the session, participants also discussed the proposal to issue citizen identification cards to people under 14.

The majority of them agreed that the need for citizen identification cards among this age group shouldn't be further considered given the cost and the fact that it would be optional anyway.

However, Minister of Public Security Tô Lâm highlighted certain issues when identification cards are unavailable for those under 14.

Not having any identity information outside passport and birth certificate makes it difficult for children in many activities, including travelling by plane or going to school, Minister Lâm said.

He also stressed the new ambition of ASEAN is to allow citizens to travel within the area by identity cards, noting that it is necessary to provide children under 14 with identification cards.

Regarding concerns over the change in appearance, the ministry suggested the expiration date for the citizenship card for children in this age group could be in five years instead of 10 years for adults.

The ministry is also considering issuing 'green cards' for Việt Nam to manage people with Vietnamese citizenship who have foreign origins, minister Lâm said.

The Bill on Citizen Identification will be submitted to the 5th session of the 15th National Assembly for debate and approved at the 6th session to be held in October this year.

The Law on Citizen Identification took effect on January 1, 2016, and includes regulations on citizen identification, the citizen identification database and the national population database and the management and use of citizen’s identity cards. — VNS