A new partnership of technology and security firms has been formed to develop solutions for electronic passports, conforming to the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s ‘ICAO 9303′ standard for machine readable passports, visas, and other travel documents.
The partners are chip maker STMicroelectronics, secure paper supplier ArjoWiggins, and the Italian high security firm Gep SpA. The combined expertise of the partners in smartcard chip technology, secure identification software, and secure paper technology will enable the development of a complete solution to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving passport market. Many passport-issuing authorities are currently looking for such advanced security solutions.
“Passport Authorities worldwide will certainly welcome this move, which represents an unprecedented combination of know-how and resources available to them, on a truly industrial scale, in the fight against passport fraud,” said Philippe Gelblat, CEO of security products for ArjoWiggins.
First solution delivered
The first ArjoWiggins/Gep/ST electronic passport solution has already been delivered in sample form, and is currently undergoing field tests. The ICAO compliant passport, produced by ArjoWiggins, has a secure contactless IC (integrated circuit, or chip) from ST, running Gep’s secure passport operation system application, embedded into the cover of the document. According to the group, the embedded chip option for passports is already attracting much interest worldwide as a secure, user friendly, and easy-to-implement solution.
The Gep secure operating system, ERAT, makes full use of ST’s contactless chip and its security features, cryptographic hardware, and ISO 14443 contactless interface. The complete hardware and software solution can also be customised to suit specific needs. The passport solution, based on ArjoWiggins’ paper security technologies, is to be made available through Gep and ArjoWiggins’ security sales offices.
Future cooperation between the partners will be extended to develop solutions with added security and application features, based on the next generation of ST’s ST19 contactless chips, which have greater memory capacities and cryptographic capabilities. The partnership is a response to growing governmental demand for comprehensive and reliable secure passport solutions.
“Passport applications present particularly challenging demands for security and interoperability, making a systems approach increasingly necessary,” said Gep’s founder and director, Paolo Pepori.
For additional information on the technology partners:
- Visit STMicroelectronics at http://www.st.com
- Visit Gep Italia at http://www.gepitalia.it
- Visit ArjoWiggins at http://www.security.arjowiggins.com
Copyright 2003 UsingRFID.com
Reprinted with permission from Using RFID (http://www.usingrfid.com/news)
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