Creating smarter government IDs

August 2019 Access Control & Identity Management

The adoption of biometric identification solutions in the creation of smarter government IDs and all types of identity documents is a process requiring various steps which should ideally enhance the experience of all users.

This includes individual citizens, front-line staff, the back-end software management team, authorisers and verifiers. This should be done while adhering to the highest standards of security, privacy, quality and efficiency - whether the identification system is implemented in a centralised data centre or distributed environment.

The process can be divided into five stages: enrolment, application processing, secure data preparation, personalisation and quality control, and issuance.

The enrolment process will ideally integrate with multiple quality-checking tools such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) photo standard check or fingerprint quality assessment. The biometric solution will perform data verification and validation as well as biometric identification, while integrating with the citizen database/register. Enrolment will be performed at either a desktop, mobile suitcase, self-enrolment kiosk or perhaps even a self-enrolment option using a mobile device. The front-line government officials performing the enrolment will make use of an efficient system of clear, easy-to-use software with a localised graphical user interface (GUI) that reflects and supports their own process and language requirements.

The next stage is application processing, which requires tools for performing Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) deduplication, watch-list and database checks and exception-case handling. This fully customisable system can adapt to any workflow requirement, both today and as they evolve. All captured application data must be encrypted both at rest and in transit to ensure the security of citizen information.

Once the application is approved the next step is secure data preparation ,which requires high-tech software for handling document signing, chip script generation and document output control. The system must be capable of securely formatting and signing data with country keys as preparation for chip personalisation with a chip operating system. Another key component is the PKI system for managing the keys and certificates used to sign personalised e-Documents and enable their verification at control points. The solution should be capable of handling all aspects of key and certificate creation, management, revocation and associated policies.

The data preparation step is followed by personalisation and quality control. The software for this process will encompass pre-personalisation, personalisation control, chip encoding, quality control and assurance, and inventory management. The personalisation and chip encoding section will handle all aspects of graphical personalisation, secure chip encoding, print-job creation and the final quality assessment of the document. It should support multi-machine configurations and integration with major personalisation machine brands while also handling multiple chip operating system configurations.

The final component of an end-to end biometric ID system is issuance. The software handles the e-Document collection process, post-issuance control, self-service kiosk solutions, e-Document application upgrades and e-Document data renewal. The card management system will feature a localised GUI to retrieve document status in real time while also enabling on-card application updates.

The system is designed to comprehensively increase security, efficiency and access controls in a multi-level, multi-point manner. This promotes an overall improvement of the identification processes used by government and other related agencies involved with national security concerns.

For more information contact HID Global, +27 83 321 2922,,


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