Smart Passports Gain On Philips Deal

    June 2, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The Dutch electronics firm will provide the wireless chips needed to produce smart passports in Germany.

A deal between Royal Philips Electronics and the German passport printer Bundesdruckerei GmbH will see Philips technology at the heart of the new passport program, according to a press statement.

Germany will be one of the first countries in the European Union to introduce smart passports. The need for this technology has been driven by the United States’ visa waiver program. Visitors to America who will be spending less than 90 days in the country must have a machine-readable passport.

The contactless chips will be based on sophisticated encryption technology and contain the passport holder’s personal information. The initiative focuses on reducing incidents of fraud and forgery with passports, and to enhance the security of travelers and the countries they visit.

Philips has significant experience in smart card technology, having produced over 400 million contactless smart card modules. The chip to be used has been recognized by Germany’s Federal Office of Information Security with that organization’s highest possible security certification.

“As governments around the world look to implement smart passports, the decision by the Bundesdruckerei GmbH is a strong endorsement of Philips’ expertise in this arena,”said Reinhard Kalla, vice president and general manager, Business Line Identification, Philips Semiconductors.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.