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UN to adopt fingerprint recognition-based employee ID cards

The United Nations International Computing Center (UNICC) has launched the One UN Smart Card project – which plans to adopt fingerprint recognition-based ID cards for employees and affiliates at UN headquarters – via the UN Global Marketplace (UNGM), according to a report by Business Korea.

Initially proposed in 2012, the project will develop and distribute ID cards to enable all UN employees working at its headquarters as well as its 37 affiliated organizations to access their computers and enter the buildings.

As part of the project, the UNICC is seeking a root certification authority to manage the project and the smart card. The U.S. government is the only government that currently operates this type of identification system.

The One UN Smart Card is to be developed based on a public key infrastructure (PKI).

Considering South Korea has extensive experience in developing several PKI-based application programs, the country is expected to win the bid for the project.

“South Korea currently has the most advanced PKI technology based on the development of public key certificates and the country is highly likely to clinch the project if public key certificate issuing agencies and tech firms in the country participate in the bidding,” commented Choi Woon-ho, former chief information security officer (CISO) at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who proposed the project.

The UN is planning to roll out the system in phases, later this year, with the goal to provide cards to 200,000 to 300,000 employees and national representatives by 2020.

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