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January 14, 2008

Gemalto to produce biometric ID cards for Yemen

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by Brian Turner

Gemalto has announced that it has been selected to deliver the electronic ID cards solution commissioned by the Ministry of Interior of Yemen for the next national elections.

Under the contract, Gemalto will implement the whole solution including enrolment processes, creation of a secure biometric national registry, maintenance, local support, training and integration services, as well as provide the 10 million smart ID cards that will see Yemen step into the digital security era.

The first cards will be delivered to the Yemeni citizens during first half of 2008, and the program will reach completion by April 2009 when the population is to vote for the new Parliament.

Gemalto’s secure personal device, the size of a credit card, will be the official ID document for Yemen citizens above 16. It stores personal credentials such as name, address, digital photograph and fingerprints.

In the future, the Yemen national ID card might also integrate e-government applications as the government wishes to leverage this technology to simplify its relationship with the population. In addition the new electronic ID document has been designed to ensure compatibility with e-government standards developed by the Gulf Cooperation Council neighbouring countries.

“This new electronic ID card illustrates the Yemen government’s wish to modernize the country’s election process while enabling Yemeni citizens to benefit from a secure and convenient identification means,”, comments Jacques Seneca, Executive Vice President in charge of the Security business unit for Gemalto.

“The growing need for governments to effectively authenticate citizens for more efficient services, combined with the increasing concerns of ID theft and fraud, has influenced technologically proactive governments in Austria, Belgium, China, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Morocco, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UAE and many more to convert to smart-card based ID solutions. We are very pleased that now Yemen is joining these leading nations”.


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