Thales, Finnish police to launch new biometric travel and digital ID documents
The National Police Board of Finland has announced its new electronic travel and identity documents.
Thales, a secure travel and identity document provider for over 150 government programs, was awarded the contract for Finnish passports, eID cards and eResident Permits last year, and supplies the biometric technology embedded in the IDs.
This contract covers the design, production and personalization of Finnish identity cards, biometric passports, residence cards and resident permit cards. It also includes other services such as temporary passport personalization, warehousing and invoicing.
“The Finnish authorities have been cooperating with Thales for decades, and we look forward to continuing this cooperation,” says the chief of license administration, Hanna Piipponen, of the National Police Board of Finland.
The documents include new anti-forgery features, updated security features in the polycarbonate data page and eID card, a larger photo size on the ID cards and a color picture on the passport paper page. Additionally, Thales incorporated a 2D bar code for easier machine recognition and reading.
“We are very honored that this contract has been awarded to us, and we will continue to provide passports and other identity documents for both Finland and worldwide,” says Thales DIS CEO Tommi Nordberg.
The company says the delivery process for end-users will remain largely the same, with deliveries made mainly to distributor outlets throughout Finland. A new subcontractor has taken over the distribution of permit documents and an expanded service offer will provide rapid delivery of passports and ID cards to a larger geographical area.
For sustainability purposes, Thales adds that its cards have extended usage lifecycles.
“Thales is fully committed to sustainability, so we are also offsetting the carbon emissions from all our travel and ID solutions,” adds Nordberg.
This contract is initially set to last five years, with the potential for extensions.
Thales recently made headlines for partnering with IDScan.net to create products that tackle offenses and fraud using fake IDs, particularly underage drinking in the U.S.