Oberthur and Graphic Security Systems enhance physical security of smart cards

PARIS, November 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The smart card industry has once again recognized the innovation capacity of Oberthur Technologies by selecting the product ID-One(TM) Sky as finalist for the Sesame award for the best application in the identification category at the Cartes 2009 trade fair in Paris.

Following the lead of the electronic passport, the smart card is being confirmed as the only technology capable of reliably strengthening the security of any type of identity document: national identity cards, resident permits, driving licenses, etc. While electronic features provide most of this enhanced security, the card body itself must support physical security features to allow reliable authentication of a document when the chip cannot be read.

ID-One(TM) Sky is a completely novel kind of physical security feature stemming from collaboration between Oberthur Technologies, Graphic Security Systems Corporation and Alain Boucar, Chief Superintendent of the Belgian Federal Police.

An ID-One(TM) Sky card is made from polycarbonate, an extremely robust material especially suited for use over several years. It includes a transparent window which is a decoder for invisible markings present on the photo of another card. Two ID-One(TM) Sky cards authenticate each other by laying the transparent window of one over the cardholder photo of the other. Hidden data are then revealed and any tampering with the photo is immediately detected. For the first time, a level 2 invisible security feature can be directly verified in the field without any specific or complex tool.

Hidden Indicia(TM), a patented Scrambled Indicia(R) technology developed by Graphic Security Systems Corporation, allows invisible data to be integrated into a photo. It is already used on several identity documents such as the new Belgium electronic passport manufactured by Oberthur Technologies.

Integration of a decoding transparent window in a polycarbonate smart card body requires the combined mastery of several technologies unique to fiduciary printers and smart card manufacturers. Oberthur Technologies is one of the few companies worldwide in command of such know-how.

"We have always worked very closely with the key players in the identity document security market. This makes it possible for us to offer our customers the latest generation of products for their projects," explains Jerome Lena, Product Manager at Oberthur Technologies Identity Division.

"Security of a document is closely related to the ability of the first line to control it. Oberthur Technologies has a good grasp of this issue and ID-One(TM) Sky is the first identity document which allows us to integrate a second line dimension at the time of verification," says Alain Boucar, Chief Superintendent of the Belgian federal police.