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Final Report on Malaysia’s Digital ID Scheduled for June Release

Malaysia National Digital ID

Last year, Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Multimedia announced that it would be introducing a Malaysia biometric digital identification platform (National Digital ID) to authenticate user identity to reduce fraud and identity theft.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) stated that the final review on how to implement the framework would be finalized by 30 June 2020 and will include suggestions.

Once Cabinet granted approval, the study started in November 2019 and was conducted by National Digital ID Study Task Force co-chaired by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Chairman of MCMC.

It was noted that the government is taking a consultative and collaborative approach to the study, particularly by working together with relevant stakeholders, in getting their views on potential use cases for the national digital ID platform.

This is important to ensure user-centricity in designing the framework for Malaysians.

The study has also focused on ID initiatives that have already been implemented and how they can be integrated with the national digital ID platform. Other aspects considered are existing legal framework, security, privacy and ethics.

As technology forms an integral part of daily life in the current era, the need for a safe, secure and protected National ID Digital platform has become both an essential and attractive proposition.

A National ID Digital serves as a secure and trusted digital credential as well as a platform for authentication that can improve convenience, promote inclusivity, reduce the cost of access to services, and enhance service delivery to Malaysians where online transactions are concerned.

According to another report, the national digital ID is an effort by the Government to enable Malaysians to embrace the rise of digital services.

It will be an advanced method of authenticating a user’s identity online, where it is safe, secure and protected.

The MCMC has clarified that the new national digital ID will not be a substitute for the National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), nor will it be compulsory for everyone.

The task force conducting the study might decide to understand the efforts made by Australia as well as India to establish similar digital IDs.

Both countries have lessons to teach that might help Malaysia not only better understand how the national digital ID must be created but also what will help drive its adoption.

An important consideration that the MCMC should make relates to security. Experts hope that the suggested framework will offer ample safeguards to citizens when it comes to personal data privacy and security.

Although no implementation date was put forward by the MCMC, the national ID project might make a debut by the end of 2020 if the study can be completed on time.

In June 2019, it was reported that a Japanese multinational information technology and electronics firm submitted a proposal to the country’s Communications and Multimedia Ministry to be its biometric technology provider.

The Ministry, which is spearheading the project, plans to finalize the project details by the end of the year, the Vice President of the company stated.

Malaysia has a high rate of internet and mobile phone use, which has spurred growth in e-commerce and other online industries, and the government hopes to leverage digital ID to encourage more growth and enable new financial services such as e-payments.

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