Argentina selects HID for national passport project

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The government of Argentina has selected HID Global to upgrade its ICAO electronic passport to a newer generation that will reduce costs, improve security and enhance the reliability of data reading at border control points.

The Argentine government is transitioning its electronic booklet from a printed antenna to a new copper wire antenna, which is more reliable, having a stronger bond with the chip holding the traveller’s data, and therefore reducing the failure rate. A vast majority of the E-passports around the world use copper wire antennas.

Supporting stronger security elements, the booklet also features an electronic cover built with a radio-frequency shield. A thin layer of special material disturbs radio communication with the passport antenna, only when the booklet is closed, impeding it from being read or stolen by people with harmful intentions. It strongly decreases the risk of unauthorised access to chip data when passports are not inspected. In the current state of ICAO standards, the micro-controller chip constitutes the critical place where sensitive citizen biometric and biographical data is stored.

“HID Global continues to help countries such as Argentina gain the benefits of higher security, efficiency and flexibility from the newest generation of ePassports,” said Rob Haslam, Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Citizen Identity Solutions business with HID Global. “Our Ecover is one piece of a broader portfolio of HID solutions, systems, software and services that we offer to help governments issue and manage citizen IDs for millions of people.”

The process to upgrade the Argentine passport started in June 2017 when the government opened a public bid. The delivery of the new Ecovers started in March 2018, and the Argentine government began issuing the enhanced Epassports to citizens in April. Using the new Ecover solution from HID’s Citizen Identity Solutions business unit, the Argentine government is expected to save $2.3 million USD (60 million pesos) annually.

“The Argentine government was looking for a high-quality solution for its latest Epassport and wanted to align with the global market trends” said Eduardo Lerner President at the Institute of Publications and Statistics (IPESA), HID’s partner that assisted with the implementation of the new technology in Argentina. “We were able to combine HID’s state-of-the-art Tlam Ecover with our trusted delivery and advice to support Argentina’s goal to provide its citizens with one of the most secure passports in the world.”