The government said Thursday that it will remove the financial transaction feature from civil servants’ ID cards to prevent possible personal data leaks amid rising concerns over the safety of information contained on the cards.
The Ministry of Security and Public Administration said that civil servants would no longer be able to make payments and cash withdrawals using their smart cards. They do not function as credit cards.
The electronic ID cards for public servants, introduced in 2008, have an integrated circuited chip that contains personal information including their job details, blood type and fingerprint.
Over 5,000 civil servants at 24 of the 72 major state agencies currently use the integrated circuit cards.
Concerns over data security escalated after a massive leak of credit card users’ personal information was discovered last month.
Although the ministry stressed that there is no possibility of a personal data leak with the ID cards, it decided to carry out the new measure to cut off any concerns over information security.
The new decision was made after the ministry conducted a survey of civil servants. A majority of civil servants using the integrated circuit ID cards at 18 public agencies preferred removing the financial transaction function, the ministry said.
The ministry also vowed to periodically check the records of discarded or newly issued ID cards to tighten the monitoring.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (firstname.lastname@example.org)