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Privacy that you can learn from a National ID

Do you know a National ID can be decoded with personal information?

In China, the first 6 digits of an ID indicates the holder’s address detailed to province, city and district. The 7th – 14th digits represent the date of birth. Its second last digit specifies the gender – odd numbers are given to men and even numbers are given to women.

In Estonia, the ID is a unique 11-digit code formed on the basis of sex and date of birth which can identify a person.

An ID is more than just a code, it also contains lots of personal data. In HKSAR, China and EU region, collection, processing and use of personal data are now obligated to comply with Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, China Cybersecurity Law and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Data controllers should pay extra attention while handling personal data, especially the National ID.

Data controller should aware what kind of personal data is involuntarily received upon collection. If a national ID is required to identify an individual, it is suggested to collect part of the ID number, e.g. the first few digits, and mask the rest. When a document contains sensitive information not required, you should redact it before using or sharing it.

A National ID is a unique “identity code”. Please handle it carefully to avoid invading personal privacy and violating regulations.

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