While the new Indonesian identity card, called e-KTP, is more technologically advanced than its predecessor, a new discovery reveals that its memory chip doesn't quite make the cut — a photocopier has the ability to render it useless.
“If it is being photocopied several times, the chip that stores the data of the e-KTP will be damaged and could not be read by computer,” Ardian Faisal, the head of Batanghari district population and civil registry agency in Jambi, Sumatra, told Antaranews.com. “This is informed in the Home Affairs Ministry letter [dated April 11] about e-KTP.”
Ardian suggested that people only make additional copies from a photocopy of the e-KTP, rather than using the card itself in the machine multiple times.
To obtain the information provided in the e-KTP, government offices and related institutions should use a card reader or ask for the single identity number (NIK) and the name of the person to look up the information from a database.
“We want to warn the ministers, heads of government institutions, heads of other institutions, National Police chief, Bank Indonesia governor, to provide card readers at the latest by the end of 2013, as starting Jan. 1, 2014, the old identity cards would no longer valid,” Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said in his letter.
Gamawan added that the e-KTP should not be photocopied, stapled or treated in certain ways that could damage the chip.
“If there are institutions that provide services to people that still photocopy, staple or treat the e-KTP in certain ways that damage the card, they will be sentenced according to the regulation," he said.
People often need copies of their identity cards when dealing with banks, police stations, obtaining drivers' licenses and vehicle registration documents (STNK) or accessing other services. When renewing the STNK, police officers often staple the card with some other documents.
The electronic IDs are markedly different from the old KTPs in that they include the holder’s biodata, such as fingerprints and a retinal scan, in addition to the standard information of place and date of birth and address. It will also be valid for life, unlike the regular KTP that must be renewed every five years.