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S. Korea to introduce mobile ID cards

Science 15:33 October 29, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it will introduce a new mobile identification card system and digital certificates, a move that will enhance public convenience in areas ranging from banking to administrative affairs.

The mobile IDs and digital certificates on family registers and others can be stored in smartphones, easing concerns about the theft or forging of resident registration cards, which are comparable to Social Security numbers in the United States.

"Initially this will be applied to identification cards used by government officials, but it will be expanded gradually to the general public so existing plastic cards can be replaced," the ministry said.

Visiting offline government offices to get family registers and other official papers can be a hassle for many people as they usually have to wait in long lines to get their papers.

The ministry said the government will set up a so-called my data portal that will allow people to easily and safely download and hold personal data on various devices that can be used when such information needs to be submitted.

The ministry said that this service will be expanded to family registers by the end of this year and then to sensitive seal certificates in 2021, at which time 300 different types of data could be held in a person's smart device.

Such changes could save costs as they will cut in half the amount of official papers that are printed annually.

Asia's fourth-largest economy already offers one-stop, quick services on registering the birth of children and death of family members.

The new systems will expand this to cover such areas as pregnancies, child care, jobs and setting up new businesses.

"The goal is to provide administrative services throughout a person's life that are custom-made to meet individual needs," said the ministry, which will work with other agencies to push forward the plan.

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