Beijing: Citizens` identity cards in China will now feature their fingerprints to help identify people faster and more accurately - and make it difficult to create fakes.
China Saturday amended its Resident Identity Card Law in a bid to better protect personal information of its citizens, the Shanghai Daily reported Sunday.
Older identity cards do not have this feature. The Standing Committee of the National People`s Congress or parliament approved a suggestion from lawmakers that a person`s fingerprints should be recorded when they apply for or change their identity cards.
The amendment also increases punishment to those guilty of leaking someone`s personal information. Offenders face civil penalties like economic compensation, as well as criminal penalties such as prosecution, detention and fines.
The amendment would be implemented from Jan 1 next year.
The first version of the identity cards, launched in 1985, would be prohibited from use Jan 1, 2013.
In 2004, the country introduced a second version. Cards received by citizens before Jan 1, 2012, would continue to be valid during their 10-year term.