Gemalto has begun a first pilot first in Portugal of the country’s electronic identification “Citizen Card” that will include fingerprint biometrics. The card, that will allow citizens to communicate with their government administrations, will also include several id-numbers, such as civil identification, taxpayer, social security and health and will eventually replace the voter ID card.
Gemalto, a world leader in digital security, announced that it has been selected by Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda (INCM), the Portuguese Mint and National Printing Office, to provide the solution for the national e-ID card including the secure operating system, the personalization system and applications, the middleware and associated help desk services.
A first pilot phase started in February in the Acores region, and in mid-run, all Portuguese citizens should be able to use these high-end cards including a built-in biometrics feature (fingerprint) as their national ID document.
This smart card, the size of the credit card, will be the official ID document for Portuguese citizens and incorporates extended printing security features. It will also enable citizens to communicate with their government administrations in a simple, fast and more secure manner. This new called “Citizen Card” will include several id-numbers such as civil identification, taxpayer, social security and health and will also replace, in the future, the elector card. A variety of e-government services will be available through the electronic identification provided by the new Citizen Card. The cardholder has a secret pin code to identify and authenticate himself/herself, and the card generates a, legally-binding digital signature for secure declarations and administrative procedures. This application will provide the required cryptographic means for secure access to e-government services portal and digital signature for electronic exchanges. Another application, which access is electronically restricted to forensic and police authorities, will perform the identity verification through fingerprint check.
“The digital security technology requested to implement our e-ID program is crucial to the e-government global approach towards citizens: it is not only about managing credentials, it is about facilitating and increasing the quality of the relations between citizens and public services on a national level, moving them to next steps” says Jose I. Toscano, executive director and member of the Board at INCM.
“Recent programs such as the electronic passport compliant with international standards, or the tachograph identification system for professional truck drivers and road transportation control show the INCM commitment to supply the public administration of Portugal with the most advanced documents for the functioning of the State. With such important nation-wide programs, we are very happy to produce state-of-art secure documents and consistently partner with a world digital security leader, Gemalto.” He adds.
Jacques Seneca, president of Europe at Gemalto, comments: “Gemalto is very proud to contribute to the Portuguese ID program, the first European ID project based on IAS specifications. Portuguese citizens will enjoy the IAS benefits and Portugal sets the pace for national ID cards interoperability throughout Europe.”