Argentina government 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 expected to save $2.3 million or 60 million pesos annually by using the new eCover solution from HID’s Citizen Identity Solutions business unit.
“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.
The Argentine government is transitioning its electronic booklet from a printed antenna to a new copper wire antenna, which is reliable, having a stronger bond with the chip holding the traveler’s data, and reducing the failure rate. A vast majority of the ePassports around the world use copper wire antennas.
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 decreases the risk of unauthorized 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.
Rob Haslam, vice president of Worldwide Sales, Citizen Identity Solutions business with HID Global, said: “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.