Gemalto Chosen for the National Identity Project of Portugal

Gemalto, a provider of digital security, announced that it has been selected by Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda (INCM), the Portuguese Mint and National Printing Office, to provide the solution for the national e-ID card including the secure operating system, the personalization system and applications, the middleware and associated helpdesk services.

A first pilot phase kicked off this week in the Acores region, and in mid-run, all Portuguese citizens should be able to use these high-end cards including a built-in biometrics feature (fingerprint) as their national ID document.

The smart card, the size of the credit card, will be the official ID document for Portuguese citizens and incorporates extended printing security features. It will also enable citizens to communicate with their government administrations in a simple, fast and more secure manner. The new called "Citizen Card" will include several id-numbers such as civil identification, taxpayer, social security and health and will also replace, in the future, the elector card. A variety of e-government services will be available through the electronic identification provided by the new Citizen Card. The cardholder has a secret pin code to identify and authenticate himself/herself, and the card generates a, legally-binding digital signature for secure declarations and administrative procedures. This application will provide the required cryptographic means for secure access to e-government services portal and digital signature for electronic exchanges. Another application, which access is electronically restricted to forensic and police authorities, will perform the identity verification through fingerprint check.

"The digital security technology requested to implement our e-ID program is crucial to the e-government global approach towards citizens: it is not only about managing credentials, it is about facilitating and increasing the quality of the relations between citizens and public services on a national level, moving them to next steps" said Jose I. Toscano, executive director and member of the Board at INCM. "Recent programs such as the electronic passport compliant with international standards, or the tachograph identification system for professional truck drivers and road transportation control show the INCM commitment to supply the public administration of Portugal with the most advanced documents for the functioning of the State. With such important nation-wide programs, we are very happy to produce state-of-art secure documents and consistently partner with a world digital security leader, Gemalto."

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