RFID technology may enable remote tracking of new HK ID cards by police or even a lamppost


18th July 2019 – (Hong Kong) The new Smart Identity Card has been introduced on 26 November 2018.  Its security features, card durability as well as chip technology on personal data protection have been enhanced. Persons born in 1966 or 1967 have to replace their smart identity cards from 3 June to 26 July 2019 while those born in 1964 or 1965 have to replace their smart identity cards from 27 July to 23 September 2019.

Hong Kong citizens have been reminded to go to the Immigration Department to take photos and leave other biometric data for their new ID cards. However, many fear that the new smart Identity cards may be permanent trackers for the government to snoop on Hong Kongers and those anti-establishment activists and dissidents.

Police officers will be able to access identification details using RFID remotely or smart lampposts that can track people in real time.

Smart lampposts can track people in real time.

Meanwhile, government rebuked the speculation and emphasised that the maximum “readable” range of the RFID chips on the new cards would only be 10cm.

Many remain sceptical despite re-assurance given by the government as similar RFID technology used in the Hong Kong airport allows bags to be tracked from planes to passages.

The avoid being tracked, some have suggested that the people to wrap their new IDs with aluminium foil to fend off any electric waves.

Meanwhile, protesters are also reminded to disable the location tracking function of their smartphones and map apps. It is advisable to use pre-paid smart phones whenever possible.