Gemalto is boosting its position as a global leader in digital security with the acquisition of 3M’s Identity Management Business. The companies closed on the deal five months after announcing plans for the $850 million purchase.
The 3M units including the Cogent biometric technologies are being integrated into Gemalto’s Government Programs. They’ll collectively be known as Gemalto-Cogent for now.
It really complements what we’ve been missing in terms of internal capability. We don’t have any biometric solutions of our own. We don’t have our own document readers. So it’s a great dovetailing.
“We don’t want to confuse existing customers or future customers that Cogent’s been lost or disappeared,” says Neville Pattinson, senior vice president for government sales at Gemalto. “It’s now an additional part of the Gemalto portfolio. So we’ll continue to brand it in terms of Cogent from a biometrics side.”
The identity management business that 3M divested to Gemalto consists of three core areas:
- Biometric solutions – facial, fingerprint, iris, image recognition, etc.
- Document readers – scanners and chips match electronic data to data on the printed page
- Secure materials – use of overt and covert technologies on documents to thwart counterfeiters
“It really complements what we’ve been missing in terms of internal capability,” Pattinson says. “We don’t have any biometric solutions of our own. We don’t have our own document readers. We do have some secure materials, but they’re different ones. So it’s a great dovetailing.”
Now that it has the ability to provide biometric solutions in-house, Gemalto can apply these new capabilities to its government clients as well as promote the technologies for the development of trusted national identities and stronger biometric authentication in the marketplace.
Gemalto will also be able to expand its work with United States customs enforcement on exit policy. “To date, there is no presence of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when you leave the United States – only when you arrive,” Pattinson says. “They’re embarking on a mission to equip airports, seaports, and land crossings with facial recognition technology to make sure they know who is leaving. Now we can combine that with document technology…I think we’re going to be extremely well positioned to help with that.”
Pattinson anticipates a greater use of document and facial recognition in the commercial environment. He also expects the travel industry to start looking at biometrics as a means to expedite security for premium passengers.
“Biometric technology is going to revolutionize the travel industry once it’s founded on that trust of – this is the right document and this is the right person for that document,” Pattinson says. “Now we know who we’re dealing with and that relationship can continue, not just for one trip, but over multiple trips and over years depending on that relationship you have with that airline. It’s really going to make I think the travel experience a lot more efficient and pleasurable.”