ID cards to adopt smart technology

reportertest | January 23, 2010

ID cards to adopt smart technology By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff ReporterAbu Dhabi: ID card holders will not need to swipe or insert the cards in card readers to use the services like e-Gate thanks to a contactless technology, a senior official told Gulf News. "Card holders have to just show the cards to card readers as Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) will soon adopt RF-ID technology (a contactless smart card technology) for new cards, said Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, General-Director of EIDA. "It will save a lot of time for users," he said. When the ID card is used as e-gate card at airports, proximity cards (using RF-ID contactless technology) will smooth the flow of passengers, he added. The e-Gate card provides a fast-track immigration clearance using smart technology and a fingerprint scan. This not only takes one through immigration faster but also saves space on a passenger's passport, as it eliminates the need for a manual stamp every time they travel. A senior official had said the Ministry of Interior has completed the technical process to integrate the e-Gate card with the ID card and it will be activated soon. "About 437,514 people had obtained e-Gate cards from the card's launch in 2006 until December 2008, Brigadier Nasser Al Awadi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department.Another senior official revealed that about two million cards have already been procured by EIDA and one million have been issued. Although these do not have the RF-ID technology, current ID card holders can upgrade them at a later date. "Out of those 2 million cards, we have already issued about 1 million cards", said Dr Ali Al Khouri, Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Quality at EIDA. People who travel abroad frequently and do online transactions may need the new contactless technology, he said. "The ID card also acts as a link between government and citizens in e-government transactions. If you have a card reader (attached to the system), you can use the ID card to log on many e-services which will be offered by the federal and local governments," the official said. "The governments worldwide have a challenge to verify the identity of online users [e-government services]. The ID cards help the government organisations in the UAE for that purpose." Customers can purchase card readers (of the brands/companies) approved by EIDA, he said. EIDA is closely working with the governments to facilitate more e-government services by using ID cards, said Al Khouri. Although EIDA has a plan to integrate ID card with banking services to use it as ATM card, it needs more time and effort due to the high security risk involved, he added. * 1m ID cards have been issued * 437,514 people have obtained e-Gate cards * 2m ID cards have already been processed



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