Taiwanese IC cards could threaten privacy

privacy       2002-08-20 
The National Health Insurance integrated-circuit (IC) cards were officially introduced when the Director-General of the Depart-ment of Health Lee Ming-liang (G) issued the first card to President Chen Shui-bian () on July 26. Both the IC cards and Taiwan's national identity cards are regarded as personal identification documents. They are different, however, in that the IC cards can store 32 kilobytes of data, including a person's name, address and medical records. Since the IC cards contain a lot of personal information, privacy may easily be invaded if no preventive measures are introduced.
A national ID card system has been in use for years in Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan do not have concerns about possible violations of their privacy associated with the card. But most countries do not use such cards, because they are considered to make it easier for a government to control its people.