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Japan Steps Up Push to Get Public Buy-in to Digital IDs

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Japanese actor Masato Sakai shows a sample of the My Number digital identification card.

Credit: Kyodo News/AP

Japan's government is urging the public to sign up for digital IDs, warning they could lose access to public health insurance otherwise.

The government is asking people to apply for plastic My Number cards featuring microchips and photos, and to use them with drivers' licenses and public health insurance plans.

Many Japanese fear the misuse or theft of this information.

Music copyright business professional Saeko Fujimori said the card's microchip raises the risk of fraud, adding, "If a machine is reading all the information, that can lead to mistakes in the medical sector, too."

The National Confederation of Trade Unions' Koichi Kurosawa said digitalization would be more appealing if it streamlined and shortened labor, adding that many Japanese workplaces are seeing the opposite effect, and people "are worried it will lead to tighter surveillance."

From Associated Press
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