Thales-led consortium delivers Thailand’s new biometric passports
Thailand has officially launched a new passport with embedded biometrics, produced by a consortium including Thales.
The e-passport has been delivered by the DGM Consortium, with enhanced security features including biometric data securely embedded in a chip by Thales software and an embossed signature, through a contract with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The consortium plans to deliver 15 million passports over the next seven years. The passport project is one of Thales’ largest worldwide, according to the announcement.
The project is part of the Thai government’s plan for developing a digital economy, ‘Thailand 4.0.’ An official inauguration ceremony was held on August 5, attended by Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dom Pramudwinai.
The electronic passports also include optical security elements from Thales Secure Surface to counter new types of forgeries, and are fully complaint with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) security standards.
“I am delighted that Thales has successfully delivered this new generation passport to Thai citizens and helped the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) strengthen homeland protection and safeguard their citizens’ identities,” says Massimo Marinzi, country director for Thales in Thailand. “Throughout the last few months amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued our close collaboration with MOFA and worked tirelessly to deliver this milestone. Thai citizens now possess one of the world’s most sophisticated e-passports that integrate biometrics and other high-security features that will provide a seamless and secure travel experience. We will continue to build local expertise in passport issuance with training and transfer-of-technology aligned with our commitment to upskilling the Thai workforce as Thailand moves towards a digital future.”
Thales trained 250 local experts in passport issuance technologies over the course of the project, and plans to help 500 Thai nationals obtain new skills and knowledge over its remainder.
The contract was won by Gemalto shortly before Thales integrated it, creating the Thales Digital Identity and Security business segment.
The company is also reported to be in talks with the government of the DRC for its biometric passport contract.