The Republic of Kosovo has chosen Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) to manufacture and deliver its multifunctional, electronic, and entirely contactless smart ID cards.
As prime contractor, the Munich-based technology company is assuming responsibility for all aspects of project management as well as for system development and manufacture of the cards. Sub-contractor for the Automated Fingerprint Inspection System (AFIS) and for the smartcard personalization machinery is Berlin-based Bundesdruckerei GmbH. G&D is also in charge of implementing and structuring all system components necessary to support every step in the ID documentation process, from applying for a card to delivering it. These new ID cards, which the Republic of Kosovo will begin issuing to its citizens by the end of this year, are among the most up-to-date smart ID cards in use anywhere in the world.
"By introducing these modern ID cards, the Kosovar government is achieving yet another milestone in modernizing its national, official ID documents. The Republic of Kosovo will be first country in Europe to comply with the EU requirement that all travel documents issued from December 2014 feature the new Supplemental Access Control (SAC) digital protocol. The SAC functionality will also come into play with the new ID cards," explains the Kosovar Minister of Internal Affairs Bajram Rexhepi proudly.
"In issuing contactless smart ID cards, the Republic of Kosovo is following the German model - giving its citizens a highly secure, multifunctional document featuring cutting-edge technology. In addition to offering the highest levels of security and convenience, the new card paves the way for Kosovars to access user-friendly e-government and e-business services," emphasizes Hans Wolfgang Kunz, Head of the Government Solutions business unit at G&D.
A host of applications are stored on the card's chip, including a travel application containing biometric data that conforms to both ICAO and EU standards, and the well-known electronic ID function that is also found on Germany's ID cards. When using the Internet to deal with public authorities, banks, or retailers online, card holders now have a secure way of providing proof of identity. What is more, this new form of ID supports the creation of legally binding electronic signatures.
The security of the contactless data transfer is to be assured according to the PACE (Password Authenticated Connection Establishment) security protocol developed by Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). This protocol was first applied to the new German ID card introduced in 2010 and will become mandatory for all newly issued EU passports from December 2014 at the latest. The PACE process helps to establish a highly secure connection between the contactless chip in the ID card and the reader attempting to access it. Data is encrypted before being exchanged, making it impossible for hackers to eavesdrop on the data communication or decrypt it later.
The multifunctional ID card can still be used as conventional ID and offers an array of new security features. Personal data and biometric features such as the ID card holder's photo and fingerprints are stored securely on the chip in digital form.
This major order to manufacture national security documents is the second the Kosovar government has placed with G&D in the space of a few weeks. In May, the Munich-based technology company won the contract to manufacture the country's new electronic passports.