Sunday, 19 October 2014

South Korea considering re-building its ID system from scratch

The BBC reports that since 2004, an estimated 80% of South Korea’s 50 million people have had their personal details stolen.  There are a number of problems: 

  • Identity numbers started to be issued in the 1960s and still follow the same pattern. The first few digits are the user's birth date, followed by either a one for male or two for female
  • Their usage across different sectors makes them master keys for hackers, say experts
  • If details are leaked, citizens are unable to change them
  • The government required net-users who wanted to deal with banks or shops online to use a Microsoft product, ActiveX, to provide a digital signature but critics say it was a simple password that could easily be duplicated

So they’re thinking of rebuilding it from scratch.  An (uncited) expert told the BBC that it might take up to a decade.  I’d call that optimistic.

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