Imprimerie Nationale opts for Gemalto
The Imprimerie Nationale (the French public printing office) has selected Gemalto
to provide its Coesys Issuance solution for the personalisation of second generation ePassports being issued in France. These new documents contain digital biometric information, notably the holder’s fingerprints.
By adopting second generation travel documents, France is complying with the European Commission directive that requires all member states to include digital biometric information into passports issued from June 2009 onwards. According to Gemalto, France is in a position to meet this deadline, thanks to the personalisation system that is now available. Protection of the rights to read this data is enhanced by an Extended Access Control (EAC) mechanism designed to ensure confidentiality of biometric information.
Five pilot regions (Nord, Oise, Aube, Gironde and Loire-Atlantique) will start issuing the new ePassports this autumn. Imprimerie Nationale, which currently issues around 3 million passports per year, will gradually replace existing documents.
The Coesys Issuance personalisation system prepares the data that will be incorporated into the ePassport and generates the security keys directly at Imprimerie Nationale’s premises. The technology also handles the secure loading of all individual data into each passport and performs complete management of this data. It carries out personalisation of an EAC microprocessor with unprecedented speed. Gemalto claims Coesys Issuance also ensures a level of quality control equivalent to that of the new authentication system that will be implemented at border controls.