Datacard Group, a provider of secure ID and card personalization solutions, announced that it would supply card personalization equipment and software for the national identification system planned in Guatemala. The country's Registro Nacional de Personas intends to issue electronic identity (eID) cards to more than 11 million residents to both improve the process of citizen authorization and reduce benefits fraud. Issuance of the cards began July 1, 2009.
Guatemala's new civil registry database will utilize Automated Fingerprint Identification System and facial recognition biometrics. When a citizen enrolls in the program, two fingerprints will be taken and a face print will be made using facial recognition software. These biometrics, along with the citizen's biographic information, will be stored both in the civil registry database and on a smart chip embedded into the identification card.
The cards for this program need to provide an expected usage life of up to 10 years, so polycarbonate cards were chosen. The printed personalization was laser engraved into the substrate, enhancing both durability and card security. The card designs incorporate three levels of security measures — the visual inspection (level 1), the special enhanced visual inspection techniques (level 2) and those that require laboratory or forensic inspection (level 3) — to ensure the highest resistance to fraud and counterfeiting.
"This new eID program will be rolled out immediately as Guatemala's primary national identification card," said Fred Ketcho, regional VP of Americas Sales and Service for Datacard Group. "Once the entire infrastructure is in place countrywide there are plans to use the cards for banking and services at other government facilities."