De La Rue Smurfit is supplying a new ePassport containing a contactless 72KB chip to the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs, the company has revealed.
The Irish government issued the first books on October 16, 2006, in advance of the US visa waiver program deadline of October 26, 2006. De La Rue Smurfit supplied around 700,000 Irish passports last year.
The ePassport features a contactless 72KB chip which stores the bearer’s biographical details as they appear on the details page of the passport, and a digital image of the bearer. De La Rue produces both 34- and 66-page books for the Irish government.
The new document is fully compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 9303 standard.
De La Rue says that the confidentiality of the documents is secured by layered technologies including digital signatures, basic access control (BAC) to protect against electronic eavesdropping and data ‘skimming’ of the chip, and active authentication to prevent cloning.
The firm is also responsible for producing the Irish emergency passport issued by the government to citizens who have urgent travel requirements but do not have time to receive a standard passport through the usual application process.
As a commercial security printer and papermaker, De La Rue is involved in the production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents such as passports, authentication labels and fiscal stamps. The company also provides cash handling equipment and software to banks and retailers.