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March 31, 2009

Gemalto provides national e-ID cards in Saudi Arabia

A wallet-sized card embeds a microprocessor containing the cardholder's digital information

By CBR Staff Writer

Gemalto, a provider of digital security services, has said that it is delivering electronic ID cards to the National Information Center, the IT entity of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior.

Gemalto has said that the identification card phase two program extends the country’s initial electronic ID initiative launched in December 2007. As part of the new contract, Gemalto will provide National Information Center (NIC) with electronic ID (e-ID) cards for the next three years, as well as support and maintenance for the centralized personalization center in Riyadh. The national ID card is mandatory for all citizens above 15 and valid for 10 years.

The company has also said that the Saudi Arabia national ID card is a wallet-sized card that embeds a microprocessor containing the cardholder’s digital information such as demographics, facial image and fingerprints. It also features a bar code and an optical stripe to ensure enhanced security to citizens.

The national ID card can be used as a travel document to travel within all GCC countries. The e-ID card also offers authentication to enable citizens to prove their identity. Digital signature is also available through a Public Key Infrastructure application, said Gemalto.

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