Expanded test phase for U.S. electronic passports will incorporate smart card technology from Giesecke & Devrient

Expanded test phase for U.S. electronic passports will incorporate smart card technology from Giesecke & Devrient

G&D, through its partner EDS, was awarded a contract by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Munich, January 28, 2005–The U.S. Government aims to begin issuing the world’s most secure passport by the end of October this year. A chip embedded in the travel document will store information related to the passport holder. To ensure the most effective technology is selected, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) expanded the test phase by an additional round of contract awards. The GPO has requested that technology group Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), together with its partner Electronic Data Systems Corp (EDS), supply covers for the electronic passport incorporating an RFID inlay.

Giesecke & Devrient passport covers with integrated RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) inlay meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and others. The inlay consists of a substrate and a chip with an antenna, which serves as the RFID transponder. Via the antenna, the chip can communicate with a reader to display the stored information. The chip can also store biometric data–e.g. a facial image or fingerprint–which unmistakably identifies the holder and can be quickly and easily verified.

G&D is providing chip technology with 72 KB to store the information. A key component of the solution is G&D’s STARCOS® 3.0 operating system, featuring optimum security and high-speed performance. This advanced operating system exceeds the ICAO’s requirements with respect to secure storage and transfer of passport data.

G&D is uniquely qualified to provide highly secure electronic passports. They manufacture traditional passports and provide passport personalization systems for many countries. G&D has also been a leading provider of contactless technology since 1995. Serving on ICAO and other committees ensures that G&D is at the forefront of formalizing the interoperability standards of new technological innovations in smart cards.

“As one of the world’s largest suppliers of contact and contactless card technology and a leading printer of secure documents, including currency and passports, G&D has the expertise to help GPO and the Department of State ensure success,” commented Peter Eisenbacher of G&D’s Board of Directors.

The first electronic passports are to be issued to U.S. Government employees for testing in practical use at the end of the first quarter of 2005.

About Giesecke & Devrient:

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is a technology leader in the field of smart cards, providing smart card based solutions for the fields of telecommunications, electronic payment, health care, ID, transportation, and Internet security (PKI). G&D is also a leading producer of banknotes and security documents, and dominant in the field of currency automation. Based in Munich, Germany, the G&D Group operates subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world. In fiscal 2003, the group employed around 6800 people and generated a revenue of €1.05 billion. For more information, please visit our web site at http://www.gi-de.com.

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