Unisys introduces e-passport
Unisys Corp, a world-leading information technology services and solutions provider, is enthusiastically pursuing the chance to develop e-passport technology in China.
"We are now in contact with related government sectors to talk about potential co-operation," said Terry Hartmann, director of Secure Identification & Biometrics at Unisys Asia Pacific.
He told China Daily that the company is advising the government on the possible introduction of an e-passport, which features biometric information to increase security and efficiency.
Hartmann visited Beijing last week to attend the China E-passport Forum.
An e-passport could include the holder's facial measurements, fingerprints, an iris scan or recording of their voice.
Biometric technology allows machine-assisted identity confirmation, an important security measure, particularly for border control.
Hartmann would not say when an agreement with the government is likely to be reached.
"We are cashing in on China's Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai to roll out e-passport," Hartmann said.
He said that though it would be up to local governments to decide whether to adopt the e-passport or not, doing so would enhance efficiency and improve security as China becomes increasingly internationalized.
"I believe the business prospects for e-passport in China are very positive as we are providing the kind of value-added services and solutions that our clients need in this marketplace," said Hartmann.
"In the meantime, we believe it is important to work with local partners and companies," he said, adding that the company is already in talks with related Chinese companies with a view to future partnerships.
In May 2003, the International Civil Aviation Organization adopted a global, standardized blueprint for the integration of biometric identification information into passports and other machine readable travel documents (MRTDs).
Increased use of MRTDs containing biometric data will speed up the passage of travellers through airport controls, heighten aviation security and give added protection against identity theft.
Unisys realized revenue of US$5.8 billion in 2004, of which 56 per cent was collected outside North America.
Revenue from the Asia Pacific reached US$700 million.