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* RFID Solution Secures Passports, RFID Journal, Aug. 4 2003

RFID    Journal    -   RFID   Solution   Secures   Passports

NEWS RFID Solution Secures Passports Three French  companies
are  offering  "Intelligent  Film for Identification," which
could make forging passports much more difficult.

Aug. 4, 2003 - Three French companies have joined forces  to
develop   Intelligent  Film  for  Identification  (IFI),  an
RFID-based authentication product  for  official  documents,
including  passports,  visas and identity cards. The product
should be available by the end of the year.

An intelligent passport The three  companies  marketing  IFI
are:   Inside   Contactless,   which   specializes   in  the
development  of  RFID  chips;  Fasver,  a  manufacturer   of
security films for the protection of official documents; and
IER, an RFID systems integrator.

The security solution works like this. An  antenna  made  of
conductive  ink  is  silk-screened  on the passport. An RFID
chip from Inside Contactless is attached  to  the  document.
The chip couples with the antenna electromagnetically, which
means there  is  no  need  for  wiring  bonding  or  another
mechanical attachment procedure.

Additional  security measures can be added to the page, such
as holograms. Then the page is covered with a thin film that
protects  the  chip  and  antenna from tampering. A passport
using IFI looks the same as any other passport, says Bernard
Vian, marketing manager at Inside Contactless.

But   the  embedded  chip  can  store  all  of  the  printed
information visible on the document, a unique serial  number
and  biometric  data, such as a facial image, fingerprint or
iris scan. The  International  Civil  Aviation  Organization
(ICAO)  recently  recommended that biometric data be used to
improve airline security.

The IFI chips operate at 13.56 MHz, have a read range  of  0
to  4  inches (0 to 10 cm) and conform to the ICAO 9303, ISO
144443 and ISO 7816-4 standards, says Inside's Vian.

When a person presents a passport with the IFI technology to
a  customs official, the data stored on the chip can be read
almost instantly and compared with the  information  printed
on the page. If the passportís biometric data were a retinal
scan, an immigration official could have the  holder  system
could  also scan the passport holderís retina and compare it
with the template stored on the chip.

Vian declines to reveal pricing at this time but  says  "the
cost  is  very  competitive." He adds that the partners have
been contacted by a number of  government  agencies  in  the
United  States  and  Europe that want to test the technology
using their own documents. "We should be able to  make  more
specific   announcements   by   the  fourth  quarter,  after
important milestones are achieved," he says.

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