Middle East’s pioneering role in ‘smart’ ID cards UAE scheme to start by year end
The pioneering global role being taken by the Middle East in “smart” identity cards will be highlighted at an international summit next month.
In particular, the lead being taken in the development of biometric identification technology by the United Arab Emirates will be spotlighted at the Identity Summit in Dubai, which incorporates the second Middle East Biometrics Forum.
The issuing of high-tech ID cards to all UAE nationals and residents will begin by the end of this year at the start of a three-year project The pilot phase of the project will start end of June for 6 months and will include registering and issuing cards for the citizens and residents of police and military personnal and their families . The Ministry of Interior approved the design of the card last year and signed an AED194 million (US$53 million) contract with French company Sagem to provide the technology. [The signing of the contract was in June 2002]
A pilot scheme involving employees of the ministries of interior and defence is expected to get underway late next month.
A total of 14 registration centres will be set up across the country with the Emirates Identity Authority responsible for producing and issuing the ID cards.
His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Interior and Vice-Chairman of the Authority, is patron of the Summit, organised by IIR Middle East, which takes place from 5 to 7 June.
Senior officials of both the Authority and Sagem will be speaking at the Summit which incorporates an exhibition by biometric and identity solution providers.
The summit features an expert line-up of international speakers from the International Biometric Group, UK; KBA-Giori, Switzerland; Axalto, France; Identix, USA; ImageWare, USA; Daon, Ireland; National Biometric Security Project, USA; Nextcare, UAE; Identrus, UK; Hitachi Data Systems, UK; Mycroft, USA; and Argus Solutions, Australia.
They will be providing insights on:
• Biometrics and government
• Biometrics and the private sector
• Mission critical security – USA
• Mission critical security – Middle East
• Fingerprint ID in Middle East healthcare
• Managing assets with biometrics
• Middle East attitudes to biometrics
• Trusted identities
• Data storage for biometrics
• Electronic travel documents
• Automatic border controls
• Conducting biometric searches
“Authenticating employees, customers and citizens is becoming increasingly sophisticated,” said IIR Divisional Director, Barth de Ridder.
“The Middle East is pioneering into service some of the world’s biggest biometric-based identity systems. Several countries such as the UAE are right now introducing national identity card systems incorporating the latest in smart card technology and biometric data.”
“This rapidly-growing deployment brings with it a wide range of vital issues and challenges such as privacy risks; secure system design; and the strengths and weaknesses of the technology. Successful use of modern technologies such as finger, iris, facial, voice or signature scanning requires a thorough understanding of the applications and the markets.”
The Identity Summit is the Middle East’s only dedicated event where recognised experts in the technology, systems and applications meet to discuss the issues, developments and future plans affecting the region and internationally.
The Summit is endorsed by the Emirates Identity Authority and supported by the International Association for Biometrics and the International Security Industry Organisation.
Platinum sponsor is Sagem and Silver sponsors are Identix, Axalto and Viisage. Exhibitors include Bioscript; ImageWare Systems; KBA-Giori; Daon; Science Applications International Corporation; and Applications For Vision.
Media partners include: Keesing Reference Systems; Biometrics Market Intelligence e-Update; Biometrics Watch; Biometrics Digest; Security Advisor Middle East; and Computer News Middle East.
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