Customs agents get smart ID cards

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 June, 2008, 12:00am

Customs will next month introduce smart cards to replace their current paper identity cards.

Customs and Excise Department staff officer Lau Tak-choi yesterday said about 4,400 uniformed and plain-clothes officers would begin using the cards on Tuesday, and trade-control officers would have their cards renewed later this year, ahead of the completion of the new customs headquarters building in 2010. The ID card change cost HK$280,000.

Details such as the officer's name, rank and authority to carry firearms would be shown, with the signature of a senior officer, the department's emblem and eight ultraviolet-sensitive security marks on the front and one on the back for authentication.

Mr Lau dismissed security concerns in the light of recent government data leaks, saying that the information was encrypted and they would neither contain an officer's nor a citizen's details other than details like the officer's gun-use records.