Contrary to a recent government warning, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) said that the Indonesian electronic identity card, known as e-KTP, is safe to be photocopied.
However, the agency suggested that people avoid using photocopiers to obtain data from the cards, as they are meant to be obtained through a card reader.
Hammam Riza, the agency's director of information and communication technology, said that government's warning against photocopying the cards is not because of a flawed chip. He said the card's technology is of international quality.
“To prevent long-term damage, it is suggested not to photocopy it as it will only debase the function of the chip. As it has chip on it, there's no need to photocopy it. It only needs fingerprints for real-time verification through card reader,” Hammam said.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi had previously issued a letter to related institutions warning them not to photocopy or staple the card as it would damage the chip. In his letter, he asked the institutions to provide card readers as a way to read the data in the e-KTP.
His statement has sparked widespread criticism, given the cost of the e-KTP project.
Indonesian institutions, both government and private, often request photocopies of identity cards.