Electronic passposts are set to become standard travel documents across the world, with about 188 countries having agreed to implement as electronic passport issuance and border control solution by April 2010.
According to Dilan Radia, manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers' Digital Identity Solutions (DIS) division, an e-passport is equipped with electronic chips that have the ability to store both biographic and biometric information about the holder.
E-passports are just one of the applications that will rely in mature and robust digital identity systems to be implemented in a secure and cost-effective manner.
Another identity solution used by authorities is the eID (Electronic Identification Document), an electronic national identification card, typically a plastic card, that contains digitally embedded, citizen -related information and is normally carried by a citizen as a means of confirming their nationality and identity within a particular country.
eIDs, through security-enabling technology, help prevent tampering, misrepresentation and impersonation of identities.
Another use that Radia cites is the eAuthority or eTA.
“This is an electronically generated and stored authority that allows an individual passport holder travel access into a particular country. eTA’s replace the traditional visa label or stamp in a passport, and are issued electronically by a computer system that is normally operated by a country’s Department of Home Affairs or Immigration & Citizenship.”
There has been much talk of the eCard (Electronic Smartcard), which can be used in a variety of applications from banking to access control. eCards are used to prove the holder’s authenticity and store their identity-related and biometric information. An eCard is able to securely store, accept or send information through contact, contactless, dual interface or hybrid mechanisms.
eTags are electronic tags, devices or objects that can be attached to or incorporated into many other products such as computers, vehicles, equipment, livestock, etc. for the purpose of identifying, locating and monitoring them using either RFID, GSM, radio or GPS tracking technology. They vary in terms of size, range and ability to store and read information for a variety of applications.
Something we are seeing on a frequent basis is the eTicket which enables organisations to deploy paperless ticketing systems and/or use traditional ticket media with embedded electronic information about the ticket or the holder. eTickets can be used to ensure the authenticity of the ticket as well as to prove the identity of the holder, and are primarily used in issuing tickets to passengers, travellers, event attendees and spectators.