BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Public security authorities on Tuesday said fingerprint registrations for people who change their ID cards or plan to get new ones should be expedited in order to prevent counterfeiting and protect personal information.
Recent media reports have stated that many people are involved in the trafficking of lost or stolen ID cards on the Internet, according to an official from the Ministry of Public Security.
"Those who illegally use others' ID cards will be subject to legal punishment," the official said, adding that the ministry will step up efforts to crack down on such activities.
More than 1.2 billion Chinese have received new ID cards since a new version of the cards was introduced in 2004.
The first version of the national ID card, which was launched in 1985, has been prohibited from use starting Jan. 1, 2013.
In order to protect people's personal information, those who have applied for or exchanged their ID cards were asked to have their fingerprints recorded starting earlier this year.
As many as 16,000 police stations have started recording prints, the ministry said, adding that fingerprint recording is expected to be implemented nationwide by the end of the year.
The ministry said it is also considering creating a system for reporting lost ID cards in order to encourage people to report lost cards in a timely fashion.
According to a statement released Sunday by the ministry, police have broken up 468 gangs and arrested 1,213 people for allegedly personal information trafficking online.