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Biometric passports and electronic ID cards

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SETEC, a leading developer and manufacturer of visual and electronic card products, and a Gemplus company, has begun delivery of the new biometric passports and national identity cards for Sweden that incorporate a function for electronic services (EID cards).

In October 2005, Sweden began to deploy nationwide passports embedded with a micro-chip, compliant with the international requirements of the ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organisation, and the European Union.

As such, the new Swedish passports, and the EID cards, meet the world's most demanding security requirements. Alongside the actual passport, Setec is also providing a comprehensive information processing system for the personalisation of the biometric passports and EID cards, and for the security calculation services.

This follows the 2004 multi-year agreement between the Swedish authorities and Setec's Swedish joint-venture AB Svenska Pass to deliver biometric passports.

This agreement also includes the delivery of the national Swedish EID cards. These cards contain two microchips; one for traveling purposes within Schengen countries similar to the biometric passport, and the other for identification, for example when logging onto networks to access various electronic services. The value of the agreement is in excess of €100 million.

The new passports and the EID cards will initially store in the micro-chips the personal data of each holder along side their digitally formatted facial image. Fingerprints may be included in a second phase.

Also, Setec has begun to manufacture Norway's biometric passports and has been chosen to deliver also the technology to several other countries including Denmark. Currently, Setec manufactures and personalises conventional, i.e. visual passports, for Denmark and Finland.

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