Taiwan ID firm dismisses accusation it worked with contractors for China spy grid

TECO Electric & Machinery Co. dismisses report linking it to China as 'baseless' and 'untrue'

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/09/03
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) revealed the design of new eID in 2019. (MOI photo)

2020/9/4 16:30 Update Central Engraving and Printing Plant (the government agency that contracts out card making) has issued a statement dismissing as "baseless" a report suggesting illegal subcontracting by TECO Electric & Machinery Co. Ltd. It emphasized Chinese-made equipment and materials are not permitted and personal data will be protected to the highest standard.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nearly 24 million Taiwanese citizens might be at risk of exposure to personal data breaches as a result of the government's ambitions in the field of digital identification, as foreign subcontractors for the new electronic identity (eID) cards are said to have previously assisted China with building ID systems and could export huge amounts of Taiwanese biometric data to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the Hong Kong Security Law.

TECO Electric & Machinery Co. Ltd. (東元電機), the winner of Taiwan’s eID contract, is currently under investigation for bidding with a falsified ISO 14298 certificate. The company was previously involved in a number of government projects, including the making of 20 million National Health Insurance cards in 2001, iPass in 2005, and the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), according to the report.

People familiar with the matter told MirrorMedia that after winning the NT$3.29 billion (US$ 112 million) eID contract, TECO contracted out card production to several firms, including France's Idemia and the U.S.' Datacard, a cost of NT$2.8 billion in total. The two companies, however, are also said to be working with the Chinese government on different projects.   [FULL  STORY]

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