Taiwan’s national electronic ID card, its Citizen Digital Certificate, aims to provide 16 million eligible citizens the ability to make secure e-transactions via government web sites. Helping drive this project are the more than 400 Zebra P420 printers installed in Taiwan’s 374 household registration offices.
Taiwan’s Certificate Authority has launched the Citizen Digital Certificate, an electronic identity card in the form of a contact microprocessor ‘smart’ chip card for citizens aged above 18, so that Taiwanese citizens can make secure e-transactions through governmental websites from the comfort of their homes.
The program aims to link all government agencies through networking and to provide versatile Internet-based services through an e-governance system. With the Citizen Digital Certificate card, 16 million eligible citizens will be able to access and transact up to a potential of 1,500 governmental applications.
The Taiwanese government body chose Zebra’s P420 printer for this very ambitious project. A key feature of the P420 is that each printer comes with a reject box for faulty smart cards and the printer fits suitably into the standards-based, scalable IT infrastructure. With the P420, Zebra’s distributor in Taiwan, Unitech Electronics Co., Ltd., and the systems integrator, Chunghwa System Integration Co., Ltd., provided an affordable solution that satisfied the needs of Taiwanese officials. With seven branch offices located around the island, Unitech Electronics and Chunghwa System Integration offer ready customer support.
“The printer is simple to use, very economical and technicalities are easily overcome. Particularly, the on-demand card issuance is a smooth process. That’s why we chose to use the P420,” reports Ms. Cheng Jui Wen, Section Assistant of the Household Registration Office, Neihu District.
With more than 400 Zebra P420 card printers installed throughout each of the 374 household registration offices located throughout Taiwan, the application of this Citizen Digital Certificate is within the reach of every Taiwanese citizen. Staff manning the Citizen Digital Certificate counters are well-trained in the card issuance procedure. Each employee currently processes between 20-30 card applications every day.
In the past, Taiwanese citizens had to visit the Household Administration office personally, in order to make governmental applications or transactions, because there was no way to verify identities or ensure security over the Internet.
With the security features of the Citizen Digital Certificate, each citizen’s electronic signature and electronic code are both encoded in the smart chip, and are only made known between the Certificate Authority and the citizen. All data exchanged between the users’ PCs and the secured government web pages are encrypted and then decrypted with key pairs to prevent any access of unauthorized third parties to read this information.
Services currently provided through the security of the Citizen Digital Certificate include household registration, traffic administration, income tax submission, property records, telecommunication billing, labor and farmer insurance, and safety regulations and approval for buildings.
Moving forward, this government body aims to provide 40 percent of the 1,500 potential government application services online by the end of 2004. A first in the Asia-Pacific region, this project is implemented as part of the Taiwanese government’s efforts towards the development of Digital Taiwan. Applying for a Citizen Digital Certificate is free until the end of 2004.
The Zebra P420
The standalone P420 dual-sided color printer prints sharp, readable ID photographs, graphics, and text edge-to-edge in seconds. The enclosure includes a viewing window to monitor the printing process without opening the unit. The P420 printer ribbon synchronizes automatically, eliminating the need for operator intervention. A self-cleaning cartridge thoroughly removes dust before printing, eliminating card rejects due to dust contamination.