To trade or not to trade?: Thoughts on the failed smart card based national ID initiative in Taiwan

author: Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Jan-Ming Ho, Shih-Kun Huang, Ching-Yi Liu and Da-Wei Wang
publication date: July 1999
cite this with: Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Jan-Ming Ho, Shih-Kun Huang, Ching-Yi Liu and Da-Wei Wang. To trade or not to trade?: Thoughts on the failed smart card based national ID initiative in Taiwan. In Chris R. Simpson, editor, First Australian Institute of Computer Ethics Conference, pages 117-131. Melbourne, Victoria, Australian. July 1999.
link this with: http://tsm.iis.sinica.edu.tw/papers/aice99/
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Abstract

While the emergence of the digital economy is undoubtedly creating exciting opportunities for Asian countries and it is a popular prediction that smart cards would be the next technological transition, the upheaval associated with them is producing profound changes and challenges. Attracted either by business reasons or mass dataveillance efficiency, some Asian countries, including South Korea and Taiwan, have initiated governmental projects to implement full scale smart card based national ID schemes for the past several years. For the present these governmental projects have either been delayed or canceled.

Based upon an account as to how the smart card based national ID system projects in Taiwan and South Korea failed to succeed under strong protests, this paper elaborates why the scheme seems to become a particularly favored strategy for some Asian governments, especially those who already have national ID card systems in place for several decades, to adopt in vitalizing or escalating their electronic commerce. It is followed by an analysis on how this kind of projects could be examined through the lens of achieving long-term success of digital economy and preserving online privacy. We conclude that before we have a sensible argument about the future technological and legal architecture of electronic commerce, public values such as privacy protection should be preserved, as they contribute to electronic commerce significantly in the long run.

 
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