New details emerge of Hong Kong's 'Smart ID'
06 November 2018 16:43 GMT

On 26 November 2018, Hong Kong will launch a new form of smart identity to replace the existing smart identity card.

The city has said the new smart identity card has improved in its durability, security features as well as the chip technology and protection of personal data.

Authorities have said the smart identity card is the size of a standard credit card, and is made from polycarbonate, a durable material strongly resistant to environmental influences as well as mechanical, chemical and thermal stress.

The ‘chip’ in the smart identity card allows it to record, store, process and transmit data to and from designated devices. It has segregated compartments that keep immigration-related applications separate from value-added non-immigration applications.

 

Beijing announced last month that people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan who had been living, working or studying on the mainland for at least six months would be able to apply for the new smart cards. The cards will give holders almost the same rights as mainlanders in accessing 18 types of schemes and services.

However, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council has branded the scheme a “political ploy” to belittle the self-ruled island.

The new card is embedded with a readable chip and can serve as a form of identification for social insurance, housing funds, financial services as well as public services such as education and transportation.

Previously Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents living in the Chinese mainland were issued a travel permit that do not always allow a convenient verification of their ID, especially when it comes to accessing digital applications and public services, as these platforms can only recognize the 18-digit ID of mainland residents.