HID Global Delivers RFID Readers for Next-Generation e-Passport Systems in Europe
According to a company statement, HID’s e-Government inlays, readers and printers are now used by ministries of interior and foreign affairs in over 27 e-passport programs and 31 ID/e-ID programs worldwide and have been issued to more than 120 million e-document holders. While more than 30 European countries have completed their e-passport migration to EAC, experts confirm that only a fraction of these countries has a reader infrastructure in place today and deployments will accelerate rapidly.
According to Acuity Market Intelligence, e-passport market revenues will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 31.5 percent to nearly $7 billion annually by the end of 2014. The firm reported in its April study entitled, “The Global e-Passport and e-Visa Industry Report,” that e-Passports accounted for 57 percent of all passports issued and 28 percent of all passports in circulation during 2009, and that 88 percent of all passports issued in 2014 will be electronic passports.
“Ten years ago, the e-passport was a concept circulating among forward thinking individuals and small groups of associated industry, government and non-government agencies,” said Acuity Principal, C. Maxine Most. “In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the subsequent transit attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, the e-passport idea rapidly transformed into a foundation for global security.”
The latest EAC standards mandate that passports contain individual private keys to resist counterfeiting, and require inspecting parties to prove that they are entitled to extract sensitive data such as the fingerprint using digital signatures and a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). For additional security, HID Global uses advanced encryption techniques to protect against unauthorized access to the chip data. The option of field-upgradeable firmware or a read-only memory (ROM) mask is also available, upon request, depending on platform.