Travel and mobility are key factors in our fast-paced and globalized world. Seamless travel describes concepts that offer a user-friendly and secure travel experience by allowing digitalized processing at borders. However, there are still several challenges to overcome when it comes to its implementation.
By Corinna Schindler*
Over the last few decades, economic crises and critical security situations have repeatedly hit international air traffic and the travel industry. However, customer demand has never collapsed for long. It is therefore not surprising that passenger numbers are already recovering and even increasing following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Against this backdrop, airport operators, airlines, and authorities are facing increasing challenges in terms of the structural organization of air travel. Higher passenger numbers mean a greater need for more efficient and easy processes throughout the entire customer journey. At the same time, safety standards must not be compromised. Seamless travel is one possible solution to these complex challenges. The concept of seamless travel aims to minimize the traveler’s individual touchpoint with controls, check-ins, and physical documents and in its place provide a simplified, convenient travel experience.
Seamless travel: The journey starts in the app
Digitalized travel starts with the planning and organization of a trip. Users can easily book their hotel in just a few clicks, view suitable flights and pay for everything online from the comfort of their home. At their destination, they can easily reserve a rental car, and the corresponding app even takes care of check-in via self-service.
But one component remains physical for the time being: travelers must always carry ID cards or passports with them. In some places, they even still must physically apply for a visa or an entry application for their destination country. In the future, steps such as updating and applying for documents, such as passports, could also be implemented digitally.
However, the most serious obstacles on the road to fully digitized and seamless travel arise at the airport itself.
Contactless through the airport of tomorrow
Individual concepts of seamless travel have been implemented to varying degrees in certain regions. Within the Schengen Area, for example, EU citizens can scan their passports at an e-gate, which is far faster than the manual inspection lines.
However, current concepts and processes are not yet truly contactless. Passengers still need to provide credentials to enter security zones and the aircraft itself, such as in the form of a printed boarding pass or by showing their passport.
So, what would a traveler’s journey look like in an airport that truly embraces seamless travel? After booking online, passengers pass through the arrivals’ hall and, on the way to airport security, walk through a biometric corridor. There, a state-of-the-art camera system verifies the individuals and compares their passport and biometric data with both the information in the database and the passenger list. In this ideal scenario, the entire process takes place while they are on the move, so that travelers don’t even notice the security check. As well as simplifying and speeding up the process, it also eliminates contact points with equipment and direct contact with airport personnel – aspects that have become particularly important since the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, the toolset for identifying fraudulent identity documents has also developed. Even when identification is carried out via automatic biometric methods, manual checks are possible in cases of doubt or irregularities.
Once at the destination, the passenger data is already stored on the system and no additional checks are required. The rental car company will also have received the required information and the booked car will be available without customers having to wait. Immediately, the entire trip becomes less bureaucratic, more convenient and far faster due to reduced waiting times. If optimally implemented, passengers will no longer even be aware that they are passing through the various zones of an airport; instead, they can expect a contactless and seamless travel experience. However, the road to reaching this goal is a long one, full of challenges.
A concept in its infancy
Even if there are concrete ideas about seamless travelling concepts, decisive foundations for their implementation are still missing. What are the reasons for this? In addition to the technical requirements, the main obstacles lie in the need for international cooperation at all levels. While the private sector, especially airlines and airport operators, has already joined forces in umbrella organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), there are significant challenges of cooperation between government authorities with sovereign tasks.
Travelers’ personal data is a basic prerequisite to realize international seamless travel – both at the point of departure and destination. But the exchange of data between individual countries is not yet uniformly regulated. And even though there are isolated bilateral agreements and corresponding programs for air travelers, for example between the US and Germany, there is a lack of standardization – a problem that certainly cannot be solved in the short term. Such a solution would have to consider a lot of different legal aspects, as well as data protection issues. This shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in this area before a seamless travel concept can be implemented globally.
Different data protection laws in various countries are still an unsolved problem in this regard. Working groups such as the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) are endeavoring to develop standards for interfaces and system concepts to realize an efficient exchange between countries.
To accelerate respective developments, some airlines and local authorities have already joined forces and offer their customers programs that promise fast processing of entry and exit procedures thanks to stored data. As sensitive personal data is collected here, providers should focus on cyber security, transparent handling and obtaining consent to ensure acceptance from travelers.
A question of technology
In addition, technology still faces some challenges. A biometric corridor that can identify and assign people beyond doubt requires powerful cameras, as well as the appropriate software. Notable innovation under development includes long e-gates that perform biometric identification. The use of a long field of vision is often the preferred method of choice here – capturing compliant images has become increasingly reliable in recent years. However, in a government environment, such as when running security checks, fingerprints are still considered more accurate. Iris identification is one trend attracting attention. This is considered highly secure. However, given the iris’s comparatively small area, high-resolution cameras need to perform the scan while in motion. Although the technology still has some challenges to overcome, iris scanning may prove to be a viable solution in the future.
The self-service offering is an important aspect of modern travel for passengers. The easier and less complicated it is for passengers to submit their personal data in advance, the less waiting time this process will take further down the line. To this end, approaches such as e-kiosks in airports have proved to be highly successful. Here, travelers fill out a questionnaire before their flight, scan their passport and verify their identity using biometric methods – such as facial recognition. Once the data has been successfully collected, they currently receive a printout that is checked by security. This solution, which is particularly widespread in the US, is a step towards simplified travel and offers great potential.
However, even if modern airports implement the latest solutions and enable seamless travel, not all countries are at the same technological level. Airports that cannot implement current technologies will therefore continue to exist in the future and will inevitably limit seamless travel offerings.
Quo vadis, seamless travel?
Many aspects influence the trend towards seamless travel. Automation and digitization are constantly leading to new solutions, for example in the field of touchless biometrics. Contactless biometric verification is not yet accurate enough for governmental standards and verifications, but shows huge potential for the future.
One of the biggest challenges is certainly the interaction between many different parties, especially the different requirements for private and government sectors. While airports and airline operators strive for an increase in digital technology, the security stakeholders don’t want to exclude human checkpoints altogether. Here, the focus is on safe and repeatable execution.
Nevertheless, the trend is clearly moving in the direction of seamless travel, albeit at locally varying speeds and despite the many local and global discussions that remain open. On the way to this goal, it is important to create new standards in international cooperation that enable collaboration between states and airlines and thus ensure the best future travel experience.
* Corinna Schindler is Global Vice President Business Line Verification at Veridos.
Identity Week Europe 2023 is in our sight. Bigger than ever.
To accommodate 5000+ visitors, we are upscaling Identity Week America 2023 to the impressive RAI, in Amsterdam, with added capacity, magnificence and central links to Europe.
Now with a consolidated base of the identity industry, we’re calling for speakers, previous and new, to join our lively panel and roundtable discussions in 2023 and deliver solo presentations around the evolution of biometrics, digital ID and physical security documents.
We cannot wait to wait to bring another epic edition of ID Week to the forefront. A year in advance, we study the trends in the industry and have research conversations with speakers to build an idea of which topics are high on the identity agenda.
Incode, the next-generation identity verification platform, recently announced that it has forged a partnership with TOTM Technologies as its reseller, to offer one of the world’s most powerful identity solutions, Incode Omni, to the Indonesian market as part of its Asia Pacific expansion.
Incode is a Fintech Power 50 company and industry leader in privacy-centric identity verification for global enterprises.The Omni platform is used by the world’s largest financial institutions, governments, marketplaces, hotels and hospitals to customise their user experience, at scale while drastically reducing security and fraud risk. With its unique passive liveness technology, word class facial recognition, and advanced deep learning techniques, Incode Omni meets the most stringent compliance and security standards for global brands such as Jumeirah Hotels, Rappi, and Citi.
Indonesia is a key market for Incode and TOTM in Asia-Pacific. Indonesian enterprises are accelerating their digital transformation to address a growing base of digitally savvy mobile-first users who are demanding frictionless onboarding processes and a simpler experience. According to Statista, 72% of Indonesians are smartphone users while close to 73% now have internet access. What’s more, the pandemic added 21 million new digital consumers, with the majority (72%) from non-metropolitan areas.
As an end-to-end identity management and biometrics products provider, TOTM Technologies powers enterprises with digital identity and onboarding solutions spanning use cases such as national identity, fintech and finance, healthcare, and critical infrastructure access control. TOTM Technologies recognises identity as a key that opens unlimited doors and is determined to broaden the horizon of Indonesian companies by bringing world-class, secure, and customer-first biometric products from Incode into the region.
Ricardo Amper, Founder and CEO of Incode, said, “We are proud to team with a widely recognized partner like TOTM Technologies. TOTM Technologies’ technical expertise and experience, large customer base, and understanding of a big Asian market like Indonesia are unparalleled in the region. With its support, I expect nothing less than hyper-growth in Indonesia as we continue our global expansion into Asia Pacific.”
Allen Ganz, Vice President of Business Development, Incode, said, “TOTM Technologies has a strong track record in helping enterprises transform their business operations with next-generation biometric and identity solutions, coupled with strong technical support across many shared industry verticals. Our first in Asia Pacific, this partnership is a milestone in our global channel roadmap where we aggressively expand our partner ecosystem to meet the demand for our offerings.”
Pierre Prunier, CEO and Executive Director of TOTM Technologies, said, “Indonesian businesses are showing great interest in identity verification and management solutions, especially with the acceleration of digitalisation due to the pandemic. We are confident that Incode’s best-in-breed solutions and disruptive technology will deliver the secure, frictionless, and differentiated user experience that our customers are prioritizing and are looking to offer in their highly competitive sectors.”
At Identity Week Asia, Payments Consulting Network Technical Director, David Lunt caught up with MineSec Managing Director, Jean-Luc Khaou, for a deep dive into SoftPOS and how MineSec is supporting the enablement of digital payments for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs).
Read the highlights of the interview below.
DL: Can you please describe how MineSec helps SMBs accept digital payments?
JLK: MineSec is an innovation enabler that accelerates access to digital payment technology for all SMB merchants. We help customers jumpstart their SoftPOS payment innovation and grow their business by converting smartphones to contactless payment acceptance devices. With our white-label SoftPOS solution, MineSec enables Digital Payment Inclusion for SMB merchants looking for more support to accept electronic payments as cash use fades.
MineSec SoftPOS solution converts any smartphone to a payment Point Of Sale and complies with stringent international security standards. The solution comprises a Software Development Kit (SDK) and an Attestation & Monitoring (A&M) server, also called Know-Your-Device (KYD) server. The SDK provides Contactless Kernels, security protections, and APIs for customers to develop their own SoftPOS applications. The A&M server checks the security exposure of the application and device.
With our team based in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, we support all our customers across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
DL: What payments services do you offer your target merchants?
JLK: We offer a way for SMBs to accept contactless payments without the traditional hardware and its related implementation costs. Payments are increasingly going contactless and digital, but many SMB merchants are excluded from the current contactless payments wave. They lack support from Payment Service Providers (PSP) who see lower returns for their implementation efforts and hardware cost to onboard small and medium business merchants.
SoftPOS allows merchants to accept digital payments by converting smartphones into POS terminals. They can simply download a SoftPOS app to complete the mobile onboarding process and start accepting contactless payments.
With MineSec SoftPOS solution, PSPs can now capture the market that they have been leaving behind – offering merchants omnichannel payment services cost-effectively and flexibly for both PSPs and merchants.
Our solution has all payment kernels (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, UPI, Discover, and JCB) and QR code payment solutions integrated, enabling MineSec to be currently activated in over 10 countries in Asia, Middle-East and Europe where merchant SoftPOS applications are powered by MineSec technology.
DL: Are there any industry sectors or client types that you focus on?
JLK:We work with FinTech, PSPs and POS vendors of all types. Some want full control of their solution, whereas others just want a ready-to-go white-label solution for fast market access.
MineSec solution is agnostic to industry sectors and can be used by SMBs in brick-and-mortar shops, restaurants, delivery, event, and transportation services.
DL: What do you see as the key strengths of MineSec’s services?
JLK:We also want to simplify the SMB’s journey to access contactless payment and offer a solution that is easier and more modular to deploy. MineSec will keep enriching our products horizontally and vertically. We have recently announced the integration of KYC/KYB services from a technology provider to enhance identity security for a more seamless onboarding process for merchants.
We are unique in how open and modular our solution architecture is – allowing our customers to have many choices in configuring their bespoke SoftPOS solution.
Finally, MineSec features a comprehensive back-end SaaS solution that offers PSPs all the necessary cloud-based platforms to operate and monitor devices, merchants, and transactions.
DL: How do you differentiate MineSec from other softPOS providers?
JLK:In addition to the advanced SoftPOS solution we offer to the market, we have gained tremendous trust from our customers, thanks to the credibility of our in-house experts. Customers rely on MineSec to get certifications and effectively deploy their SoftPOS services.
What makes us different also is how our A&M server is designed to provide a Know-Your-Device security service. We implemented configurable business rules to adapt to country-specific requirements so that PSP can be meeting the needs of their merchants in any country they operate.
DL: What key achievements over the last 12 months can you share?
JLK: MineSec was incorporated in May 2020. During the first 6 months, we focussed on the development of the MVP, create our value proposition, and then convinced our first customer to deploy our solution.
We have invested all our efforts in the product, ensuring that we acquire all the mandatory certifications for our solution rollout and to gain more customers. So in 2021, we signed on to 6 new customer projects and had the first production deployment in Hong Kong.
As of today, we are certified by PCI, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and UnionPay to use MineSec white-label SDK in their networks. We also have 7 direct customers and 5 indirect customers. Indirect customers are users of MineSec solutions in countries where our direct customers have sold their solution as white-label, powered by MineSec SDK. By end of 2022, thousands of merchants will be using SoftPOS powered by MineHades SDK and MineZeus KYD services.
DL: Looking ahead, what service innovations are you implementing in the next 12 months?
JLK:We are working with technology partners to integrate KYC/KYB services or other innovative payment acceptance solutions such as cryptocurrency. Our objective is to bring services to SMBs that will enable them to increase their revenues and flexibility in payment acceptance.
DL: What key SMB industry trends do you see occurring over the next 2-3 years?
JLK:While developing our business based on growth projections, it was also surprising to learn, from SMBs and partners in the market, that the focus of SMBs is to adapt very quickly to the uncertain future. If they have an opportunity to grow and scale up, they need a solution that allows them to catch that opportunity and do it very quickly. And if they need to scale down, they must be able to do it, again very quickly, without incurring liabilities and costs without any income. When we were looking at the millions of commercial merchants in Asia, most of them hold very low inventories and expect their suppliers to be as flexible as them to answer the consumers’ demands. This will remain the trend of the economy in the next 2-3 years. MineSec, as well as our customers and stakeholders in the eco-system, should be designing solutions and services that can be as flexible. SMBs will benefit from having solutions that allow swift scale up and down – paying only as much as they use.
I am convinced that this can only be done with a digital solution like MineSec SoftPOS solution. The new digital economy will be the web3.0 economy where buyers and sellers can interact instantly, securely, efficiently, and without any intermediary.
DL – What key criteria or features should a SMB consider when evaluating payment service providers?
As an SMB, they should be working with PSPs which provide flexible services that facilitates merchant digital onboarding and service activation.
MineSec Limited exhibited at Identity Week Asia 2022 while David Lunt moderated the panel ‘Panel: Securing online payments through robust ID’. Identity Week is a conference and exhibition that brought together the brightest minds in the identity sector to promote innovation, new thinking, and more effective identity solutions.
Implementing safe, trusted, and inclusive digital public infrastructure supported by robust governance frameworks is critical for countries to build resilient futures. On June 1st, government leaders, international development organisations, and philanthropic funders gathered to pledge large-scale technology sharing, funding, and their commitment to support this international cooperation agenda.
In June, global leaders jointly committed to advancing the use of digital public goods(DPGs) – the open-source solutions needed to build digital public infrastructure (DPI) that can enable countries to provide better services and foster inclusive economic growth. The event was convened by the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA), Government of Norway, Government of Sierra Leone, and United Nations Development Programme.
Digital public infrastructure – the digital systems like cash transfers, digital identification, and data exchange that enable the effective provision of essential society-wide functions – can play a critical role in building resilience, including pandemic and crisis recovery. At the event, global leaders committed to implement and fund digital public infrastructure through a newly established Digital Public Goods Charter, which serves as a framework to increase international cooperation on this agenda.
The DPG Charter, co-led by the DPGA and the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), outlines a clear vision for a coordinated global approach to build safe, trusted, and inclusive digital public infrastructure using DPGs. Doing so can enable countries – regardless of income levels – to transform services and service delivery for people and communities everywhere.
The DPG Charter, and the commitments made by global leaders, are especially relevant given the devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting climate disruption. These challenges, compounded with the unprecedented food, energy, and financial crisis precipitated by the war in Ukraine, are creating an urgent need to act.
Investing in digital public infrastructure that puts human rights at the centre, and promotes gender-sensitive, whole-of-society approaches, can alleviate near-term economic shocks and build resilient systems for the future. The benefits are proven: countries that had well governed digital public infrastructure in place weathered the pandemic better than countries without. These countries were able to respond to challenges faster by capitalising on the use of pre-established, high-quality, welfare-enhancing digital systems.
DPGs are built on open standards, and therefore support greater interoperability. This can reduce duplication, save time and money in implementation, and provide opportunities for digital cooperation globally. The DPG Charter promotes leveraging DPGs for digital public infrastructure, which in turn can create a fairer and more inclusive playing field for countries and local digital ecosystems worldwide – by increasing participation of micro-merchants including women in e-commerce; improving children’s access to education; ensuring last-mile digitisation of payments and cash transfers; and strengthening crisis preparedness and resilience.
This event, and the pledges made, mark the starting point for global cooperation on DPGs for DPI –and funding to support it– between governments, multilateral organisations, donors, and the private sector. These efforts are in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and the activities of the Global Digital Compact and the Summit of the Future in 2023.
Below are some of the leaders who pledged their support to advancing this initiative:
Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India: “By joining the DPGA, we commit to making available India’s digital public infrastructure such as Universal Payments Interface (UPI) as global digital public goods, and will offer technical assistance to implementing countries to advance global welfare for all.”
Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonia: “Estonia remains committed to support the development of the X-road solution and to advocate it as a digital public good which can boost digitalisation, and also plans to invest a minimum of EUR20 million in open-source AI solutions in 2022-2023.”
Niels Annen, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany: “Germany has invested EUR 20 million in the GovStack Initiative to accelerate digital government services development by sharing interoperable and reusable digital building blocks – additional funding is currently subject to the approval of the German Parliament.”
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister, ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Bangladesh: “In order to respond to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call of building an equitable, high-income Smart Bangladesh by 2041, this requires an uncompromising and relentless focus on ensuring digital equity enabled by DPGs and digital public infrastructure at scale. Which is precisely why today I am proud to announce that the Government of Bangladesh will be joining the Digital Public Goods Alliance and wholeheartedly endorsing the vision of the Digital Public Goods Charter.”
Paula Ingabire,Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda: “Rwanda fully endorses the vision laid out in the Digital Public Goods Charter. We are committed to advancing the DPG agenda. As we join the Digital Public Goods Alliance today, we commit to bringing our expertise and sharing lessons learned as well as learning from the successes of the different partners.”
Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine: “It’s the digital public infrastructure that makes it possible for us to continue to deliver services to our citizens. It also became the bedrock for data-driven decision-making processes […] Jointly with UNDP under very difficult conditions we have provided digital public services for receiving IDP [internally displaced people] status. We are working on a platform for payment and deduplication from international humanitarian agencies through Diia services.”
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Nandan Nilekani, Co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited, spoke in support of the DPG Charter and confirmed their strong commitment to help advance investments in digital public infrastructure, enabled by DPGs, for financial inclusion, social protection and inclusive development.
Other participating countries pledging support and commitments at the event included: Norway, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Uganda, as well as leadership from USAID, UNDP, and UNICEF.
Protecting and authenticating security and ID documents presents challenges for holograms but the technology’s capacity to evolve and integrate in the optical and digital space, reflects its continued potency in security applications, says Dr Paul Dunn, chair of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).
New optical and digital developments are reshaping the role and nature of holograms in document and ID security. They are also driving innovative and sophisticated design solutions for often non-descript security documents, simultaneously enhancing the security of an identity document, as governments and issuing agencies around the world, as well as other global entities, wrestle with losing billions of dollars a year in revenue through incessant counterfeiting of documents and insidious ID fraud.
Meanwhile the cost of paying for anti-counterfeiting measures to bring criminals to justice can add up to hundreds of millions of dollars. The problem has also been exacerbated in the last two years by the impact of COVID, which has accelerated digital transformation in almost every industry, accompanied by drastic opportunities for increased fraud.
Providing innovative and sophisticated solutions for security documents requires not only a design that will make a document attractive; it also means enhancing the intrinsic security of that document. Secure document conception can be achieved for ID cards and passports, for example, by integrating security features with exclusive designs that highlight attack attempts and facilitate controls such as checking that an ID document matches the bearer.
Today, propelled by advances in materials and applications, holograms designed to protect and authenticate, are integral elements of optical variable elements (OVE) on ID documents, helping to verify identities both in person and remotely.
Ground breaking technologies such as Idemia’s Lasink Helios are to the fore in these applications: its technology is linked to a DOVID (Diffractive Optical Variable Image Device) and combined with holographic technology displays striking optical effects, such as colour variations of the portrait including a full polychromatic view with true colors, which vary depending on the angle of view. Easy to inspect, resistant to multiple types of fraud and durable, the use validates both secondary and main portrait images on documents, thus confirming the identity of the document holder – both images are interlinked to make forgery virtually impossible, deterring any attempted fraud.
The IHMA estimates that there are three billion identity documents issued worldwide, the evolving challenges posed by fraud see governments, issuing authorities and law enforcement turning to innovation to stay ahead of criminals and fraudsters. Here, the use of direct laser interference patterning (DLIP) applied by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology in Germany can be seen as a versatile tool for producing holographic motifs and diffraction-based elements on most materials; the optical security elements can be written directly on the surface as well as in the volume of a transparent material for improved authentication and greater individualisation of security documents.
Conventionally, a DOVID protects the most important information of a document i.e., the primary image of the document holder. It can additionally cover the holder’s data and a secondary image. So conventionally all this information is printed or laser engraved by the manufacturer and protected by DOVIDs. However, rather than simply protecting the information, security solutions provider OVD Kinegram’s novel technology allows for the creation of a secondary image and/or data directly. The laser personalized KINEGRAM is highly secure and protects against ID fraud and document falsification. This three-layer system is laser processed to radically alter their appearance from a black to mirror like effect, or transparent or even eye-catching optical effects.
Besides offering intrinsic protection, the use of two metal layers/effects provides further benefits and protection – both appearances are in perfect registration and thus cannot be copied by unauthorised printing processes. Moreover, the ability to integrate the embedded KINEGRAM elements over a larger area in perfect optical harmony with other features (such as the security print) leads to a document design that is intuitive and self-explanatory, and hence readily available for human inspection. The design tells a story that even the untrained eye can immediately understand, while the solution protects the personalised data and the photograph of the passport’s data page for ID3 format passport data pages and ID1 format identity cards or driving licences.
Today, the use of optical and physical technologies to protect valuable documents against existing and emerging threats is paramount – for instance, the role of optical and digital technologies in securing health status passports is gaining increasing traction – while great strides are being made in the areas of micro and nano-optical structures and other new approaches to document security. Indeed, the future evolution of optical and digital document security is set to play an important role in the transition to digital documentation for some time to come.
New digital NanoCast technology from NanoGrafix enables the online production of variable holograms or any other optical structures on any printing press with the special NanoCast module. Each hologram can be different and have different holographic encrypted information that can be used for authentication and track and trace purposes. This technology can be installed on any existing machinery in order to “print” these holograms or optical structures onto banknotes, security documents such as Tax Stamps, ID documents, etc. With this module security printers no longer need to outsource holograms or any other optical structure. The holograms are instantly produced and can be different from one another. Each banknote or secure document will then have for the first time a unique holographic identifier. No more outsourcing of security features or extra handling and storage of printed materials. In this way, the chances of documents being compromised are reduced while ensuring a readily available supply of ‘instant’ holograms to support global authentication and anti-counterfeiting programmes.
Smartphone technology is also increasingly being used in combination with hologram programmes to facilitate authentication. In this fast-evolving landscape, security features such as holographic foil-stripes that cannot be replicated are being created. This type of technology allows law enforcement and other specialists ‘read’ a document using a smart phone or LED lighting, in the process providing a robust way to authenticate and thwart counterfeiting and forgery.
Pointing the way
The continued use of holography in optical and digital document security points to the technology’s underlying versatility, cost-effectiveness and graphical flexibility. Indeed, it will continue to flourish in those markets where a highly effective security feature is required as governments and other issuers of
ID cards, passports and driving licences have to implement security technologies to protect an increasing array of documents from counterfeiting attacks.
The optical and digital space heralds exciting development opportunities for holograms, which can deliver an exceptional representation of the 3D world and pose a significant step forward in the search for better imaging. The opportunity for further integration by innovative, forward-thinking companies is huge, as digital holographic technology, increasingly operating via smartphones and devices, provide a visceral and ardent interpretation of the world, allowing people to see and sense images in a way that is realistic, comfortable and natural.
Moreover, the use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO 12931 standard, enables those with ID protection responsibilities to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from counterfeits. Even those that carry a fake authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if the latter carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution. The advantages holography offers will continue even as digital and mobile ID technologies gain increasing levels of traction.
The IHMA (www.ihma.org) is made up of more than 80 of the world’s leading hologram companies. Members include the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, ID cards and passports, other secure documents, brand protection, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications around the world, and actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards.
Today, Sony has today announced the availability of its in-camera forgery proof photo technology for corporate business users. Using digital signatures processed at capture, Sony technology supports to detect any modification to an image thus protecting it from fraudulent usage.
Following widespread issues with unauthorised editing and misconduct around digital photo data, Sony has developed forgery-proof technology, based on standard cryptography, for corporate users to safeguard images against future misuse.
With Sony’s in-camera signing mode activated, images are immediately cryptographically signed by the camera processor upon capture. Following this, any pixel modification, tampering or potential forgery will cancel the image signature, as the image manipulation will be detected by the customer’s own certificate server during examination.
Available on the Alpha 7 IV camera, with expansion to other models to be considered in sequence, this new functionality streamlines the lengthy process required from image submission through to verification, all with the addition of extra security.
The Alpha 7 IV also combines a 33.0MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with BIONZ XR™ imaging engine to deliver high-speed processing and outstanding resolution.
Sony’s new forgery-proof signing mode ensures the secure creation and transmission of images based on cryptographic methods, as the fundamental need for certifying unmodified and secure images grows in many applications, across multiple industries.
This technology is particularly applicable for passports and ID verification but goes further in tackling image manipulation in the media, medical and law enforcement fields. For the insurance and construction sectors, this technology will offer a secure foundation for inspection and recording of damage.
Yasuo Baba, Director of Digital Imaging and European Product Marketing at Sony, commented:
“It is Sony’s missions to strengthen business solutions with cutting-edge imagery technology and our in-camera digital signing is a real game changer for combatting image manipulation and forgery across multiple industries. Whilst appropriate adaptations for each industry need to be made, the digital signature is multilingual and can be used internationally, enabling organisations worldwide to streamline mandatory image signing with Sony technology.”
Currently compatible with the Alpha 7 IV, and subject to receipt of a license to enable Sony’s signing mode, this facility will be available for business users with plans for further model expansion to follow. In tandem, Sony will continue to examine how we can utilise our industry-leading imaging technology to further support enhanced security across multiple industries, with plans to expand the line-up of supported cameras hereafter.
GoTrustID Inc. (GoTrust) has announced that their Idem Keys with FIDO2 Security Level 2 certification are being used in the Czech Republic by CZ.NIC’s MojeID service to provide the highest level of eIDAS assurance for digital transactions throughout the entire EU.
MojeID became the first eIDAS approved eID service that leverages the FIDO standards and certification program. This is a remarkable milestone that benefits Czech citizens by letting them utilise phishing resistant technology.
As the Idem Keys are qualified to the top assurance level they can also be used for lower-level assurances, meaning that Idem Keys can access any type of eIDAS transaction. The GoTrust Idem keys have USB-A, USB-C and NFC interfaces. All Idem Keys work with Windows, MAC, Chromebook, iOS and Android phones. The iPhone and Android phone are supported using the NFC interface and as a bonus the Idem Key can be used for physical access in commercial environments. Idem Keys are waterproof with IP68 rating and are available from the top 2 online stores in the Czech Republic.
The benefit of using the FIDO standard is that the Idem Keys work with any web-based services, anywhere without downloading a driver or middleware. The MojeID Identity service provided by CZ.NIC is authorized by the Czech Ministry of the Interior for accessing online government services and all eIDAS compliant online services in the EU.
The only FIDO Security Key on the market today to meet the requirements of high assurance of eIDAS and work across every user device is the GoTrust Idem Key. “We were delighted to find exactly the FIDO Security Key we required to get eIDAS High accreditation,” commented Ondřej Filip, CEO at CZ.NIC.