An exemplary roll-out in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, or more precisely, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) has a population of 7,5 million.
In 2003, Hong Kong started its own national identity card program.
In less than four years, the new ID card phased out its predecessor and is now held by more than seven million citizens and foreign residents.
The new polycarbonate card features a microprocessor and is capable of storing personal data, a digital photograph, and two fingerprint scans.
Hong Kong's national ID card functions as the country’s primary identity document, and is required for employment, voting, and receiving social services.
Thales provided its highly secure MULTOS operating system platform for the first generation of ID cards.
Digital government to better serve citizens
The use of the card for e-Services is activated voluntarily at the post office, using the “e-Service” certificate. This authentication and signature function is a key element in the development of e-Services in Hong Kong, for public applications as well as private.
It is based on a PKI ( Public Key Infrastructure).
The success of Hong Kong identity card is due in part to a strong and constant political will, solid technical and legal infrastructures, a document that is visibly more modern and secure than its predecessor- a boost to national pride.
There is also the perception that, since launch, the card would protect the rights of its citizens and their uniqueness.
Clear key success factors included the installation of self-service terminals and integration in libraries, online betting, and more “classic” examples of e-Government such as eTax.