HID Lee Wei Jin

Protecting your identity with secure cards

According to HID Global, a manufacturer of secure identity solutions, counterfeiting a physical access security card, is subject to rules of the Computer Crimes Ac 1997.

HID Global’s regional director of Secure Issuance in APAC, Lee Wei Jin, quoted paragraph of the act, “Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offence 4. (1) A person shall be guilty of an offence under this section if he commits an offence referred to in section 3 with intent— (a) to commit an offence involving fraud or dishonesty or which causes injury as defined in the Penal Code [Act 574]; or (b) to facilitate the commission of such an offence whether by himself or by any other person.”

The person guilty of this offence is liable to a fine of up to M150,000, or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both.

Lee also shared the trend of identity thefts, physical and digital, in Malaysia, and specifically that the cost to acquire a fake ID in Malaysia is cheap.

Lee said, “Human smugglers offer migrants and other individuals travel ‘packages’ that smuggles them into Malaysia and provides them with a new identity for a price of RM2,500.”

It is becoming so common that according to a maiden consumer survey conducted by RAM Credit Information (RAMCI), it was found that 14-percent of respondents have experienced identity theft, while 26-percent knew someone who had been a victim of the crime.

Citing a report by the MCA’s Public Services and Complaints Bureau, statistics on identity theft revealed a total loss of RM2.82 million from 2014 to 2016. Last year, RM1.68 million in losses were recorded.

 Data leaks everywhere

Lee observed, “Not many people are aware and pay attention to identity security measure, although the cases have been skyrocketing recently.

To minimise such risk (of data leaks) and in order to provide a high-level security card, it is an end-to-end effort. From getting the right provider for card issuance process all the way to the users during the usage.”

Manufacturers of secure identity solutions like HID Global are doing their part with technologies like resin scramble feature. “The data is protected so nobody can read the printed data and info while processing – not even the operator. So the data is secured and safe,” Lee said.

Another feature which increases card security is the watermark which increases card security without needing operator to pay extra to get holographic overlaminates or foil cards to make the card virtually impossible to duplicate.

But besides all these features in place, Lee opined, “We should be paying more attention to the process, because quite often data theft happens from the inside.

I think we ought to craft a traceable system to ensure there’s somebody accountable and responsible for the data and process in every step of the way. “

So, activities like cards and data being disposed off properly, are important too, as well as Malaysians needing to be more vigilant and proactive when it comes to protecting their personal information.

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