GenKey delivers national biometric ID to Ivory Coast

BioHASH encryption to enhance security and expand digital ID checks
GenKey delivers national biometric ID to Ivory Coast

GenKey has announced the roll-out of biometric national ID cards to aid Ivory Coast in its ongoing digital identity efforts. The Dutch biometric ID provider and the project’s main contractor Semlex will provide the technology and help set the standards to facilitate cross-border movement for all 350 million citizens of the 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The new ID cards will be secured and protected by GenKey’s BioHASH encryption technology and will be in full compliance with ECOWAS biometric ID regulations.

Moreover, the cards offer interoperability with Ivory Coast’s existing systems and promise additional protection layers to prevent fraud and identity theft through new data storage procedures. While standard ePassport and eIDs chips store biometric images in Data Group 3 (DG3), GenKey’s new ID utilizes DG 13 (optional details) to store biometric credentials using its unique and stable BioHASH codes, according to a company announcement.

As biometric data stored in DG 3 is controlled by public key infrastructure (PKI) its usage for identity checks is generally limited to border crossings. Utilizing DG 13 by storing encrypted biometric codes will thus expand digital identity checks in the public and private sectors while maintaining maximum data privacy.

Hence, instead of storing biometric data directly, GenKey uses its BioHASH technology to generate codes based on biometric images and save these on ID cards. This allows for identity verification without a direct reference to the actual biometric image and prevents reverse engineering of biometric data.

GenKey CEO Michiel Loeff lauded the recent breakthrough: “It’s incredible how the application of our BioHASH technology vastly improves the safety and security of the biometrics of individuals we work with.”

“This privacy-by-design approach to storing and verifying biometric information pioneers a next level in identity security and the standards in the protection of biometric data, providing a much more efficient way to provide ID verification,” Semlex Europe CEO Stephan Delforge added.

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