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Veridos breaks ground on Ugandan biometric ID document printing plant

Veridos breaks ground on Ugandan biometric ID document printing plant

There are five primary challenges nations face in going fully digital with IDs, according to one vendor.

Veridos has published hurdles that must be overcome to get countries from physical IDs to physical and digital to fully digital. Veridos also has broken ground in a noteworthy infrastructure project in Africa.

In describing the road forward, the integrated ID company bandies the unfortunate marketing word “phygital” for the bridge period leading to digital.

First, according to the company, bridge-period biometric IDs have to take on some of the security features of currency – holographic images, including portraits and watermarks, and surfaces that can be felt in relief.

Then, governments have to build secure, state-wide infrastructure that, among other things, can handle a high volume of sometimes large data transactions. This is more common when information or people are crossing international borders.

One of the biggest challenges will be helping to create international standards for virtual and physical biometric IDs. Veridos notes work being done by the United Nations to harmonize relevant ID documents. This will be a herculean task, one that might wait until a crisis to be resolved.

Fourth, each nation has to create systems that give people sovereignty over their own data. Centralized control in a manageable format is perhaps the least complex method of preventing the wrong entity from using someone’s data in ill-advised or illegal ways.

And last, as noted above, the whole system – from the cards to system interface to compensation for misuse – has to be designed with the data’s owner in mind. That means systems and procedures that are clear and simple enough to be readily used months or years apart because that is how people will be interacting with the system if everything goes at least nominally.

In the here and now, Veridos has begun building a printing plant in Entebbe, Uganda, for security documents, including biometric passports.

The company says there are few such printers in African countries. It is a joint venture with Uganda’s state-owned printer and Veridos. Documents printed at the new site will only be used by the Ugandan government.

More details on the project are here.

Veridos has partnered with other governments on plants for digital ID documents, including Cost Rica.

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