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France: Biometric Passports

(June 2, 2008) On April 30, 2008, the French government issued a decree implementing biometric passports and creating a national database to store fingerprints, photographs, and information relating to the civil status of passport applicants. The decree was published in the official gazette of May 4, 2008. It is designed to comply with European Council […]

Bangladesh: National Identification Card

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 30, 2008, the Council of Advisers of the caretaker government of Bangladesh approved the National Identity Registration Authority Ordinance 2008. The ordinance establishes that the Home Ministry will serve as the control ministry for providing national identification cards. It also states that voter identity cards being provided by the Election […]

European Union: Data Protection Supervisor’s Opinion on Fingerprint Proposal

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 26, 2008, the European Union Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Peter Hustinx – who is in charge of safeguarding the personal data and the right to privacy of EU citizens – issued an opinion expressing his concern and raising a red flag over the European Commission’s proposal on harmonization of security […]

China: Clearance of Administrative Regulations and Rules

(Mar. 2, 2008) The State Council of China issued the State Council Decision on Abolishing Some Administrative Regulations (Guowuyuan guanyu Feizhi Bufen Xingzheng Fagui de Jueding, the Decision) on January 23, 2008; it takes effect upon publication. According to the Decision, the State Council has reviewed all 655 administrative regulations it issued up to the […]

Sri Lanka: ID Offices to Be Computerized

(Feb. 2, 2008) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Internal Administration has announced that it will establish units in each region of the country to issue computerized identity cards. The new offices will be run by the Department of Registration of Persons, under the Ministry's direction. There are several such offices already established, and the Ministry has […]

Japan: Korean A-Bomb Survivors

(Dec. 2, 2007) Although Japan's A-Bomb Special Measures Law of 1968 did not clearly exclude A-bomb survivors who lived outside Japan from being recipients of health maintenance allowances, the Health Ministry notification of 1974 excluded them. Forty Koreans who returned to Korea after the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima sued the Japanese government in Japan, […]

China: Simplification of Administrative Procedures

(Nov. 2, 2007) On September 28, 2007, the State Council of the People's Republic of China issued a circular that cancels 128 administrative examination and approval procedures and amends 58 others, in a move to reduce government red tape. Among the 128 eliminated procedures are some of those listed, for example, in the Decision of […]