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Mongolia: Smart ID Card System to Be Implemented

(May 11, 2011) The Mongolian Cabinet decided on March 9, 2011, to replace the country's personal identification card system with a new, electronic one. New, mandatory “smart” ID cards will have an embedded microchip containing all personal data, with biometric facial and fingerprint ID systems; the information will be stored in a database linked to various government agencies, such as the Election Commission, the Tax Department, and the military recruitment agency. According to First Deputy Premier Altankhuyag, the new card will allow Mongolian authorities (e.g., police, customs and tax, and local registration and passport-granting authorities) “to identify people with speed and accuracy.” (P. Shinebayar, Mongolia to Roll Out New Smart I.D [sic] Card System, UB POST (Mar. 11, 2011).)

Introduction of the new cards will also enable the authorities develop e-government, by helping the government to facilitate delivery of public services such as social allowances, social security, and services related to health care, insurance, and education. The cards will be available to Mongolian citizens beginning in October 2011. (Id.)

Reportedly more than 2.2 billion people, about a third of the world's population, have already been issued “smart” ID cards, among which “over 900 million have biometric facial and fingerprint systems.” It was projected in late 2009, moreover, on the basis of smart card ID schemes already implemented or planned for implementation, that by 2012 “over 85% of the world's population” would have the cards.” (Nathan Allonby, ID Cards – A World View, Center for Research on Globalization (Aug. 31, 2009) [includes as an Appendix a Survey of Biometric and Smart ID Card Schemes Worldwide].)