Controversies on the new ID card to be issued in Romania as of 2018

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The Interior Ministry has put a draft law on the new ID card to public debate, revealing its form and price. A public debate took place at the ministry’s HQs on Wednesday.

Tens of citizens attended the debate, most of them voicing opposition to the document as it contains the holder’s biometric data.

The new ID will cost about EUR 20, a price to be paid by the citizens and might be available as of next year. The new document is smaller than the current ID paper, having the size of a bank card or of a driving license.

The Interior ministry’s officials mentioned the card is estimated to be available as of 2018, but the exchange is not mandatory.

The draft proposes that the new ID card with biometric data should also take over the functions of the health card. The new ID card displays information on two sides, containing the date of birth and the signature by hand.

The electronic ID card will contain a CIP device that will allow storing the face image of the holder and, optionally, the images of his fingerprints.

The Interior Ministry estimates the financial impact of the new ID cards will not exceed EUR 1 million at central level and around EUR 6.5 million at local level.

The average price of the ID card in the EU is EUR 15-20. We intend to be below this price. The cost of the ID card is paid by the citizen, like at present,” the ministry said.

The initiators of the draft law intended to implement a new ID card say the main reason to amend the current documents is the need to introduce new modern safety elements.

Yet, most citizens attending the debate were against the shift, mainly arguing against the potential CIP device, fingerprints and information on the owners’ health that might be contained on the ID card. They say that will make them vulnerable to authorities and to anyone who would want to harm them.

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