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Japan is introducing a revised My Number law that will allow information on smartphones

Japan’s parliament on Friday passed a law allowing personal information on My Number social security and tax authorities identification cards to be stored on smartphones.

The revised My Number law, which will come into effect within a year of promulgation, will allow information such as cardholders’ names, addresses and facial photos to be stored on their smartphones.

This move is expected to enhance the convenience of cardholders as procedures such as opening online investment accounts and age verification when shopping can be completed using their smartphones.

My Number cards serve as certificates of cardholders’ name, address, date of birth and gender, among other things, and as electronic certificates for identity verification, available on Android smartphones since last May. Both features will be available on Apple’s iPhone smartphones from next spring.

The legislation also includes a provision to remove gender as part of the information displayed on My Number cards, following calls to eliminate this in view of sexual minorities. Gender information will not be printed on the surface of new cards introduced as early as 2026, but will be stored in the cards’ IC chips.

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