DNA in ID Cards? Viet Nam to Collect Biometric (Even DNA) for New ID Cards

DNA in ID Cards? Viet Nam to Collect Biometric (Even DNA) for New ID Cards

The Vietnamese government is embarking on an ambitious project to drive its national digital transformation, and one of its key steps is to collect biometric data from its citizens to create a revolutionary ID card. This initiative is being driven directly by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The process, scheduled to begin in July this year, will involve collecting information such as iris scans, voice samples, and even DNA samples directly from residents. This is an important step in laying the country's digital foundation and realizing a strong vision of modernization.

The legal basis for this process is provided by the Law on Citizen Identification, which was amended and finalized on November 27 last year. The amendments allow for the collection of biometric data, as well as blood type and other DNA-related information.

The Ministry of Public Security plans to collect this data in cooperation with other government sectors, thus integrating the latest identification system into the national database. Regarding the method of information collection, the revised law asserts that the process of collecting biometric data will be voluntary by individuals or relevant institutions under criminal or administrative law.

This sensitive information will be stored in the national database and integrated into various institutions to assist them in performing their functions and duties. In the future, ID cards with these biometric data will have various functions, such as health insurance cards, social security books, driving licenses, birth certificates and marriage certificates, as regulated by the amendments.

The impact of these measures will change Vietnam's ID cards. While their shape will remain the same, there will be changes in the information they contain and the institution responsible for issuing them. The management of these cards will move from the Police Department to the Ministry of Public Security. In addition, fingerprints will no longer be part of these cards; they will be replaced by QR codes linked to various identification data. Meanwhile, other information such as identification numbers, names, ages and dates of birth will remain on the ID card. The new ID cards will be transformed with the addition of the cardholder's biometric data.

Individuals over the age of 14 will be asked to provide this information, while participation will be optional for individuals between the ages of 6 and 14, although it may be required in certain situations. The estimated number of participants in this data collection is approximately 70 million adults in Vietnam. Given the large volume of data, this process is expected to be lengthy and complex.

In addition, the threat of data leaks and the potential for misuse by cybercriminals are serious concerns. Therefore, it is hoped that the Vietnamese government can protect the personal information of all its citizens without exception. Ensuring the security of Vietnamese citizens' personal information at all levels is a primary responsibility that the government must address.

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