Secure ID is on the cards for South Africa

South Africa's eID cards will contain the holder’s image and biometric data, replacing the traditional green ID book

South Africa has become the latest country to swap traditional, paper-based identity documents for secure electronic identity (eID) cards. The cards will pave the way for the introduction of a series of efficient and convenient eGovernment services.

Until now, South African citizens have been issued with a little green book containing an ID number that they use for a range of official purposes, from applying for a credit card to registering to vote. The new eID card, which Gemalto is supplying to the Government Printing Works (GPW) of South Africa, will use secure embedded software to protect the holder’s image and biometric data.

The card – made from an advanced, durable polycarbonate designed to counter forgery – will also support public key infrastructure and match-on-card authentication techniques to make it easy to verify its authenticity. It employs a future-proof technology platform that means it will be capable of providing a range of secure services, such as online and in-person authentication and legally binding digital signatures – bringing South Africa in line with the increasing number of countries that offer such services to their citizens, making it easier for them to perform important administrative tasks.

First published on June 26, 2013
Last edited on September 29, 2015
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I thought that South Africa scrapped the Dompass system years ago

By fred