HID Global Fuels e-Passport and e-ID Adoption in Europe
HID Global, a provider of solutions for the delivery of secure identity, has announced that the company’s e-government RFID reader technology is being deployed in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain to help create a more robust identity-checking infrastructure in Europe.
The company will be deploying its technology through leading system integrators in two additional countries during the first half of 2011.
HID’s reader modules offer one of the world’s fastest solutions for biometric passport reading, and its reader technology is unique in supporting both Basic Access Control (BAC) and Extended Access Control (EAC) to deliver a combination of flexibility and future-proofing as Europe and the rest of the world moves to more secure digital credential technologies. Altogether, HID’s e-Government inlays, readers and printers are now used by ministries of interior and foreign affairs in over 27 e-passport programs and 31 ID/e-ID programs worldwide, making life easier for more than 120 million e-document holders.
“We understand how important it is to minimize delays while maximizing security at border crossings, and so we have focused on delivering best-in-class reader speed, accuracy and flexibility in our e-passports and other e-government solutions,” said Mark Scaparro, senior vice president of Identification Solutions (IDS) with HID Global. “We offer one of the industry’s fastest and most reliable reader solutions plus seamless interoperability with all relevant standards and technologies. Being able to support both BAC and EAC standards in our readers has been one of the top requirements for our OEM partners in Europe, as demand continues to grow for secure and reliable e-passport and other e-government solutions, and as more countries migrate from a BAC- to EAC-enabled infrastructure.”
HID’s unique combination of BAC and EAC support makes it easier for countries to support existing requirements while migrating to the latest, more rigorous security standards. BAC is typically used for government identity verification and for such commercial applications as accelerated hotel check-in/checkout, self-serve airline check-in, and purchasing disposable mobile telephony credits. For greater security, EAC is used to enable biometric matching during e-passport and e-ID document issuance and at automated border-crossing locations including airports in Finland, France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom. While more than 30 European countries have completed their e-passport migration to EAC, experts confirm that only a fraction of these countries has a reader infrastructure in place today and deployments will accelerate rapidly.
According to Acuity Market Intelligence, e-passport market revenues will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 31.5 percent to nearly $7 billion annually by the end of 2014. The firm reported in its April study, "The Global e-Passport and e-Visa Industry Report," that e-Passports accounted for 57 percent of all passports issued and 28 percent of all passports in circulation during 2009, and that 88 percent of all passports issued in 2014 will be electronic passports.
“Ten years ago, the e-passport was a concept circulating among forward thinking individuals and small groups of associated industry, government and non-government agencies,” said Acuity Principal C. Maxine Most. “In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the subsequent transit attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, the e-passport idea rapidly transformed into a foundation for global security. Today, e-passports have not only become main stream but have also created a multibillion dollar industry poised to fundamentally change the global travel and border control infrastructure.”
The latest EAC standards mandate that passports contain individual private keys to resist counterfeiting and require inspecting parties to prove that they are entitled to extract sensitive data such as the fingerprint using digital signatures and a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). For additional security, HID Global uses advanced encryption techniques to protect against unauthorized access to the chip data. The option of field-upgradeable firmware or a read-only memory (ROM) mask is also available, upon request, depending on platform.