HP and Microsoft in national ID joint venture


31 May 2005

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Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Microsoft have developed a national ID system (NIS) solution for governments. The solution, built by HP, is based on the Microsft .Net platform and allows governments to build and quickly deploy a complete standards-based and technologically agile infrastructure that meets a nation’s changing needs for security and identity management.

“The need to securely identify people moving across national and international borders has never been more important than it is today,” said Jim Ganthier, worldwide leader of defense, intelligence and public safety at HP.

“HP and Microsoft are working together to provide government agencies the ability to access the integrated data streams needed to securely identify people both in the physical and virtual worlds.”

Built using HP’s expertise in NIS, security frameworks and public key infrastructures (PKI), the HP NIS can be fully integrated into the HP e-government framework and integrated into a nation’s e-government services delivery framework.

The solution encompasses all the essential national identification system attributes and functions, including: Online and offline enrollment of demographic and biometric data through live capture; local request as well as regional/central verification and registration; multi-tier architecture; secure management of the document lifecycle; biometric and personalisation subsystem integration; online and offline identity verification and fault tolerance and disaster recovery.

HP and Microsoft are investing in the solution through initiatives such as joint training programmes and the establishment of specialist centres around the world to further develop, demonstrate and sell NIS solutions.

Going beyond simple secure identification and authentication functionality, the solution enables modern national identification systems to allow citizens to access e-government services and conduct secure transactions. The solution also provides citizens with improved secure and intelligent-identity documents.

For example, with heightened security awareness at national borders, the solution fulfils the new requirement to ensure traveller and citizen credentials across an entire country or region.

In addition, the modular nature of the solution enables national and regional governments to more easily plug in additional elements, such as biometrics, to customise and balance the level of security and privacy as defined by a government’s policy and requirements.

Recent figures from industry analyst firm Morgan Keegan show that the worldwide identity-management market is approximately US$4.8bn and is estimated to grow to approximately US$10.7bn in 2007.

By John Kennedy