Mixed reviews on Japan’s Digital ID system as failures prevail

Japan faces increased pressure as the public outcry focuses on the ongoing issues with the My Number digital ID system.

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The My Number digital ID system, an IC chip that was launched in 2016 to ensure that everyone, from babies to the elderly, has access to the benefits that come with digital transformation in Japan, continues to face several problems. 

During the initial phases of the digital ID system, issues include low uptake due to data privacy fears, service access limitations, and a lengthy wait time to replace the access PIN or the card itself. In recent times, users have complained of an inability to access the digital certificates linked to the digital IDs, failings with renewals, the wrong linking of IDs to bank accounts and administrative records, and a lack of inter-agency communication. 

As the government works feverishly to solve the ongoing setbacks with the My Number ID system, public opinion point to the need for greater and deeper sensitisation on the project as being at the heart of the problems.

Why does it matter?

The issues with the My Number ID system could not have surfaced worse for the Kono government as the time nears its June 2024 target to eliminate analogue regulations, an estimated 3.6 trillion yen undertaking.