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April 6, 2005

Gemplus and NEC win e-Passport bid

Smart card vendor Gemplus International and the security solutions arm of NEC are part of the winning consortium behind one of the world's first commercial deployments of e-passports.

By CBR Staff Writer

The project will see Gemplus’ contactless chip technology embedded in Singapore’s forthcoming smart passport scheme, where passports will contain a chip carrying biometric information about the holder such as fingerprint and facial details which can be used to authenticate people at checkpoints.

Both companies are already working to commercialize various identity management systems built around certificate-based smart card technology.

NEC has been developing biometrics and fingerprint recognition since 1969. Its systems uses fingerprint recognition algorithms originally developed for law enforcement and national identity applications used by such organizations as the FBI, the US Criminal Justice and Singapore Immigration Authority. Its so-called PID Positive Identification system is a one or two-finger capture, store, search and match system that provides identification and verification of individuals for secure authentication.

NEC’s Security Solutions business unit is targeting private and public sector organizations with a single-sign-on digital identity system that uses such a combination of physical and electronic security features around its TouchPass enterprise access control system.

Gemplus has pioneered various e-government initiatives, like that at Canada Post, that are using non-repudiation services to manage verification, time stamping and logging of all performed digital signature operations using the inbuilt smart card-based security features of the latest Windows operating systems.

The Singapore consortium is led by NEC Solutions Asia Pacific.

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