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Biometric ID cards introduced in more European countries, Canada

biometric facial recognition

To improve security and prevent fraud attempts, Malta, Croatia, and Canada’s Northwest Territories announced new, biometrics-enhanced identity documents and driver’s licenses, while Germany projects significantly higher costs than initially anticipated.

Malta

Malta is introducing a new biometric identity card for citizens in September, compliant with guidelines released by the European Commission, Newsbook reports. The polycarbonate card will feature a number of security features to prevent tampering.

According to an announcement made by Identity Malta CEO Anton Sevasta, seniors will be the first to be issued IDs starting next week, followed by those aged 14 and over. Current IDs will remain valid until they expire, as the government is planning a gradual replacement. Applicants will have to be physically present at Identity Malta’s office in Gattard House to provide biometric data and sign up.

“The advancement in technology that Identity Malta has made in recent months is translating into further changes in how the same agency operates,” Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat said in a prepared statement. “We will see that such development continues so as to remain at the forefront when it comes to the security of our identity.”

Croatia

Croatia is introducing biometric ID cards which will also be issued for temporary digital nomads, following amendments to the Law on Identity Cards and the Law on Foreigners, writes Total Croatia News.

Based on European Parliament regulation, the IDs will include biometric facial features and two fingerprints. The age limit will be raised from 65 to 70. Sixteen-year-olds allowed by court to get married will be issued an ID if they live in the country.

“Apart from the amendments made to harmonize with the Regulation, the proposed amendments to the law would enable the use of electronic ID cards on mobile devices, and not only on personal computers as before,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic said in a prepared statement. “Citizens are given the opportunity to access electronic services and validly electronically sign documents using mobile phones or tablets. Citizens will not pay extra for the use of the appropriate software solution for mobile devices.”

ID cards that lack minimum security standards will be withdrawn.

Germany

The fee for the new biometric ID cards in Germany will be some 30 percent higher than anticipated, writes The Local.

According to the government, the card will cost €37 (US$44.19) instead of the originally announced €28.80 (US$34.40). The cost still has to be approved by Bundesrat.

Individuals aged 24 and older will have to apply for a new card every 10 years.

Children and people under 16 can receive a card without the electronic feature.

Since 2011, foreigners residing in the country receive the electronic residence permit (eAT).

Northwest Territories in Canada

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in Canada is introducing new driver’s licenses and general identification cards with enhanced fraud security and biometrics, the institution announced.

Available starting September 2020, the cards will include NWT elements such as a diamond, Arctic Grayling, Mountain Aven, fox, midnight sun and fireweed. Old cards will remain valid until they expire.

Starting in November, temporary IDs will be available and facial images will be uploaded in the facial recognition system.

“The Government of the Northwest Territories takes security fraud very seriously,” R.J. Simpson, Minister of Infrastructure said in a prepared statement. “Our newly designed driver’s licenses and general identification cards are now among the most secure in the world, ensuring the best possible protection to Northwest Territories residents from fraud.”

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