Irish government rolls out e-passports

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Commercial printer De La Rue Smurfit said this week that it is supplying an e-passport containing a secure 72KB chip to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Irish government issued the first chip-equipped passports on 16 October in advance of the US visa waiver programme deadline of 26 October.

De La Rue Smurfit, which supplied around 700,000 Irish passports last year, said that the new document is fully compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation 9303 standard.

The e-passport features a contactless 72KB chip which stores the bearer's biographical details as they appear on the details page of the passport, along with a digital image of the bearer.

The confidentiality and integrity of the documents are secured during the Department of Foreign Affairs' personalisation process.

Layered technologies in the passport include digital signatures, Basic Access Control which protects against electronic eavesdropping and data 'skimming' of the chip, and Active Authentication to prevent cloning.

Paul Wilson, managing director of De La Rue Identity Systems, said: "De La Rue has been involved in setting the future direction of e-passport developments with international standards bodies, and has focused on the performance, security and readability of its solution.

"Extensive testing ensures that De La Rue's e-passport exceeds industry standards."
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