Ban casual disclosure of IC numbers in low-risk transactions

Now that the Government has decided to implement a somewhat clumsy, but hopefully effective, solution of delinking computers used by civil servants from direct access to the Internet, cyber security could be further enhanced in other ways ("PM: Security concerns behind move to delink Net access"; June 10).

The ubiquitous use of the identity card number is the Achilles' heel of cyber security.

The Government should restrict access to such critical personal data by non-government entities, including various businesses.

It should ban the routine disclosure of IC numbers in mundane transactions, such as filling out personal details for a lucky draw, and the photocopying of ICs for non-critical purposes.

Data protection is best achieved by first restricting casual requests for critical personal information, especially IC numbers, by businesses and non-government agencies for low-risk transactions.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)