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  BearingPoint announced that it has successfully delivered the Irish Government's e-Passport project.
Consulting-Times E-zine

BearingPoint successfully delivers e-Passport solution in Ireland

Development of an e-Passport was key for the Irish government, which needed to have a biometric passport in place before October 26, 2006 to meet requirements of the United States visa waiver program. Meeting the waiver program's aggressive schedule had serious implications for Ireland, as it is one of the top 10 visiting nations to the U.S., with an estimated 500,000 Irish citizens visiting the country last year. The bulk of these visits were visa free.

BearingPoint, which has more than a decade of experience in government security and identity management solutions worked to implement Ireland's e-Passport solution in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards in just seven months, including rigorous third- party testing procedures and other trials.

The project involved creating a new, high-tech passport that includes secure electronic chips to store an encrypted digital version of the holder's identity. Special features of Ireland's new e-Passport include:

* Securely-stored biographical information and digital image identical to the information visually displayed in the passport

* Contactless microchip embedded in the passport that allows the information to be read by special chip readers at a close distance

* Digital signature technology to verify the authenticity of the data stored on the chip, alerting officials if the information has been tampered with

BearingPoint modified Ireland's Automated Passport System (APS) to allow the capture of biometric information from the applicant's photograph, and to ensure this was encoded in the e-Passport document in a secure fashion. The Irish Government is also introducing facial recognition technology to coincide with the release of the e-Passport. This technology will be used to improve identity verification and reduce identity-related fraud. BearingPoint designed and built the original APS for the Irish Government in 2004, helping the government manage a record increase in passport applications, with over one million APS passports issued to date.

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