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Malaysia plans to implement National Digital ID for Internet Users

The Malaysia Government announced that it plans to implement a National Digital Identity (National Digital ID) initiative to enable Malaysians to be confident in embracing the rise of digital economy activities. The adoption of National Digital ID by the public will be voluntary, and not compulsory.

Ministry of Communications and Multimedia KKMM

The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia will spearhead the initiative, while a detailed study on the implementation model will be carried out by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

As a first step, a comprehensive study will be conducted from September 2019, for a period of nine (9) months. This study will identify the holistic National Digital ID framework and will propose recommendations to the Government on appropriate implementation models that meet the needs of the people, businesses and the nation. It will also take into account Malaysia’s unique context including the existing MyKad and private infrastructure, current factors, as well as identifying new policies.

The study will involve the Government, private and academic collaboration. KKMM hopes that coordinated research and efforts among the key stakeholders from all sectors, industries and the public will provide a better mechanism for the implementation of the National Digital ID in Malaysia.

KKMM added that the National Digital ID is not a substitute to the existing National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), or compulsory for everyone. It is an advance method of authenticating a user’s identity online. Whether it is a user setting up an online account for the first time, logging in to obtain Government service or do business or making a digital payment, National Digital ID enables the digital service providers to make highly accurate trust decisions in real time, it said.

“It will be convenient for the Rakyat as they no longer have to remember different usernames and passwords for various services or carry multiple tokens to transact digitally. With omni channel access, transactions can be made securely on any device anytime, anywhere, even in abroad.

“In addition, for the Government services and businesses, the National Digital ID will enable innovative and value added digital services that facilitate end-to-end business processes with digital signing. This will promote process improvements and create efficiency as the platform is expected to adopt interoperability standards. The National Digital ID is also expected to provide stronger security and trust for high value transactions through greater identity assurance leveraging on robust technologies,” KKMM said in a media statement.

To date, Estonia, India (Aadhaar), United Kingdom (UK Verify), Australia (myGov) Belgium (itsme), Denmark (NemID), Norway (BankID), Sweden (BankID), Finland (TUPAS) and United Arab Emirates (UAEPASS) are among the countries globally that have successfully adopted Digital ID at the national level.

Some FAQ by MCMC on Malaysia’s National Digital ID:

What is Digital ID

  • Digital Identity (Digital ID) is a unique representation of a person’s identity, which is use to enable access to digital services and carry out transactions online in a more secure manner through an authentication process.

The need for Digital ID

  • Digital ID is an important enablement platform in the provision of trusted digital services that it is convenient, seamless, as well as saves cost and time for the rakyat
  • It also offers a secure and safe privacy protection. Digital ID allows the identity of an individual to be verified in cyberspace for accessing online services and performing transactions, such as government services, banking, and e-commerce at anytime, anywhere, or via any electronic devices in a secure and safe manner
  • Digital ID also protects the privacy of personal and sensitive information available on banking, financial, healthcare and e-commerce platforms. The identity of an individual is verified through the authentication processes based on personal information

Benefits of Digital ID

  • Streamlined and consistent processes with easier access to government and business services. Use case: e-Wallet (Boost, Touch ‘n Go, GrabPay, etc.), e-Library (u-Pustaka). e-Banking (CIMB Clicks, Maybank2u, etc.)
  • Reduction in unnecessary disclosures of personal information and increase in direct user consent, including enabling users to control and keep private their identity information
  • Stronger identity controls and processes to combat misuse and identity theft. Use case: e-Hailing (Grab, MyCar, etc.). To verify that the identity of the drivers and passengers are valid. To avoid ride-hailing drivers using fake applications and GPS spoofing to cheat passengers. To avoid setting up of multiple phones and multiple accounts
  • Ability for government to participate in identity ecosystem in cost-effective ways. Use case: Online Subsidy Distribution (Bantuan Sara Hidup – BSH)
  • Enable growth in the digital economy by providing necessary digital solutions and infrastructure. Use case: LHDN Tax Payment (e-Filing). One-stop platform in managing tax filing and payment for individual and businesses. Provision of digital certificate and digital signing that enables nonrepudiation and privacy.

What is the difference between Digital ID and MyKad?

  • Digital ID is a respresentation of identity for an individual in cyberspace whilst MyKad is an official national identity issued by National Registration Department of Malaysia (JPN) for Malaysian residents in a physical form
  • Digital ID will not replace the existing function of MyKad and MyKid, and the adoption of Digital ID is voluntary
  • Digital ID will be a trusted online identity that enables secure and privacy protected online transactions anytime, anywhere and using any electronic devices
  • MyKad is a national identification that verifies if a person is a Malaysian citizen, whilst Digital ID is a verified identity that promotes trust in online services and potentially will eliminate elements of fraud and cheating
  • With the issuance of Digital ID for Malaysians, MyKad can be leveraged as the ‘source of truth’ for verifying the identity of the person as it holds genuine information about a person.
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