Setec, a developer and manufacturer of visual and electronic card products, announced that it will supply the Finnish Ministry of Interior and the Finnish Population Register Centre with Java™-based electronic identity (EID) cards. Each new card, based on Java™ technology, will be developed and manufactured by Setec. The new solution enables the use of versatile services with the same card in the future.
Since September 2004, all Finnish ID cards, manufactured by Setec and issued by the Finnish Police Authorities have been embedded with a microchip which stores the on-board certificates used for electronic identification. This new card, available from June 2005, is based on a Java Card™ operating system and a more powerful 64K Java-based smart card developed by Setec. The card is compliant with the relevant international standards.
The use of Java makes it possible to upload new applications on the chip in the future. Such a card can offer a versatile range of benefits to its users. For example, an EID card with a “city card” application can offer library services, travelling services, swimming hall services and subsidised meals.
“Integrating Java into the Finnish EID card provides a technological basis to deliver improved public services to all citizens. This project, in cooperation with the Finnish authorities, has resulted in a unique smart card solution and we are delighted to have been a part of this process,” states Mr Jukka Yliuntinen, Senior Vice President of Setec’s Government & Business unit.
“The new Finnish EID card, based on Java™, leading-edge technology and a more powerful chip, represents a real multi-application solution of the future. Its value is all the greater since the card’s functionalities can be extended as time goes by, incorporating, for example, various city card applications, or creating entirely new kinds of services in the microchip on the card,” says Mr Tapio Aaltonen, Director of the Certificate Authority, the Finnish Population Register Centre.
The EID card is voluntary in Finland, is issued by the Finnish police authorities and is valid for five years. As with the previous version, this new EID card can also be used as an official travel document instead of passport in several European countries, and it can also be combined with the Sickness Insurance Card.