KUALA LUMPUR - Imagine being able to use your MyKad to verify your identity whenever you need to over the Internet.
This will be useful when you file your income tax return via the Web next year, for example. And you will no longer need to go to an Inland Revenue Board office to get a digital certificate.
Malaysians may soon have this facility now that government-owned research and development organisation Mimos Bhd has developed the country’s own digital certificate technology.
Called the CA4MyKad digicert, the technology can be embedded in each MyKad. Every MyKad holder will also need to have a smartcard reader (costing about RM20) which is connected to an Internet-enabled personal computer.
This will effectively turn the national identification smartcard into a tool for authenticating the owner for transactions over the Web.
Other uses for the technology include making Employees Provident Fund requests, lodging police reports as well as sending and receiving confidential documents.
Using this home-grown technology can potentially save the Government millions of ringgit because alternative digital certificate technologies are commercially oriented.
Currently, these commercial services charge between RM10 and RM20 (renewable on a yearly basis) to “insert” a digicert into a MyKad.
These companies use foreign technology and need to pay royalties for every certificate they generate.
“If the Government were to do a nationwide rollout using a commercial digicert service for all 24 million Malaysians, it would cost RM240mil a year, based on a RM10 annual fee,” said Prof Dr Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin, head of Mimos’ Cyberspace Security Lab.
“But with our own proprietary technology, the expense is far less and this is why Mimos was given the task to develop the technology.”
CA4Mykad complies with the requirements of the Digital Act 1997 and any document that is digitally signed with it will be legal and binding and will be recognised as such by the Malaysian courts.
Mohamed Ridza said the personal data used for the digital certificate is highly encrypted to prevent data theft or misuse.
The technology was also developed as part of the Government’s plan to secure the nation’s e-sovereignty.