Datacard Group nabs contract for Canadian ePassport issuance

November 5, 2013 - 

Canadian Bank Note Company has awarded a contract to Datacard Group to deliver passport printer technology to Passport Canada to issue new ePassports in the country.

Under the terms of the contract, Canadian Bank Note is responsible for the design and development of the overall technical solution, including personalization software, cryptographic components and the desgn and manufacture of the new electronic passports. Specifically, Datacard Group will provide personalization equipment for central and regional issuance as well as a thin film overlay which include security elements for the new identity documents. In particular, Datacard’s PB6500 passport issuance system will be used on this project – a similar system to what is being used in Colombia.

The two companies say that they will collectively be able to issue four million passports per year.

Reported previously, Canada recently debuted its new ten-year ePassport for citizens, which cost $160 to passport holders. In particular, these passports contain embedded chips with personal information as well as a facial photograph.

Though it doesn’t appear that the new Canadian passports will contain fingerprint or iris images, the country has kick-started a number of other national biometric objectives as of late, including a data-sharing deal with the United States for visa applicants.

Canada also recently mandated that temporary visa applicants from 29 different countries submit biometric information with their applications, as a part of the country’s Temporary Residents Biometrics Project.

“Canadian officials wanted to integrate advanced technologies, enhance their overall issuance process, and incorporate more security to deter against threats,”  Michael Berman, vice president and general manager, Public Sector North America for Datacard Group said.  “The complete Datacard and CBN solution gives them multiple levels of security that directly addresses the escalating need to prevent fraud and identity theft, and ensures low total cost of ownership.”

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj