Japan’s Digital ID System Suffers New Glitch as Govt Seeks to Get Ahead of Failures

By Ayang Macdonald

Recently reported difficulties by some users in accessing digital certificates linked to the My Number digital ID in some municipalities in Japan is the latest episode in a series of complaints as the government races to fix a panoply of problems related to the system.

The failure to access digital certificates linked to the digital IDs occurred on October 10, but the issues were immediately resolved by the competent authorities, per a report by News Web.

According to the Organization for Local Government Information Systems, the body overseeing the ID system, about 10 municipalities in different parts of the country witnessed system failures as users were unable to renew their digital certificates registered using My Number.

While the issues were resolved just hours after, officials say they are carrying out an investigation to have a clearer picture of what exactly transpired.

This development comes at a time when the government continues to struggle to gain favor in the eyes of the greater Japanese public regarding the expanded use of the My Number ID.

A recent guest article for The Diplomat looks at the failures of the My Number digital ID card project so far and the efforts that government authorities have been making to ensure that many of the problems are fixed.

The article recalls the defense put up by the country’s Digital Economy Minister Kono Taro during the recent Tallinn Digital Summit in which he outlined some of the reasons why the My Number card has been facing problems. He also spoke of the measures which the services under his ministry are taking to make the My Number policy successful.

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Meanwhile, opinions about the My Number Project remain largely mixed, going by recent public comments submitted to Japan Today.

While some of the comments suggest there is no sufficient sensitization and education on the My Number digital ID project, others say they have found it difficult obtaining the card they apply for, which makes it even more worrisome because the government is forcing citizens to go for it. The plan to expand the use of the My Number was initiated in 2021.

Other comments, however, have praise for the system.

In September, the Personal Information Protection Commission, the government data protection agency, frowned at the manner in which the digital agency was handling concerns from the public relating to the My Number card.

The Japan News reports that the Commission issued administrative guidelines on how to better handle the issues.

Source: Biometric Update

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