Legislators were shocked yesterday to learn the scope of the data that could be contained in new electronic ID cards being examined to replace the present cards. Officials said the data could cover fingerprints, iris scans, palm prints and voice records, but maintained no decision had been taken on the kind of details that would be kept on the smart cards. The Government plans to replace the existing ID cards by the end of 2002. A feasibility study is under way on the issuing of the new cards. It is due to be completed by May. Non-affiliated legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, representing the legal sector, asked: 'What will the new identity card be? Is it necessary for the public to carry a card with multiple information and biometric data?' Democrat Cheung Man-kwong said he would like to know whether other people would have access to the information if they took his card. His colleague Albert Ho Chun-yan suggested the smart cards should carry the least amount of data to avoid leakage of personal details. Deputy Director of Immigration (Special Assignment) Wong Tat-po said the smart cards would save manpower at immigration checkpoints. 'There will be no need to have officers at checkpoints,' he said. Principal Assistant Secretary for Security So Kam-shing said officials would decide what data to use after a study of the technology. 'We may not need to add all the data on to the cards, we also have other considerations such as the legislation needed, privacy, security and how much money to spend.' There is also a possibility of automating voter registration through the new cards. The current system was installed in 1982 and the present ID card introduced in 1987.