Baltimore’s smart business in Hong Kong

9 Sep 2003

Baltimore Technologies has announced that Hongkong Post has chosen Baltimore UniCert as the Certificate Authority (CA) to issue and manage e-certs, the digital credentials that will be embedded in the new Hong Kong ID card, ‘Smart ID’.

Baltimore UniCert will manage the complex registration requirement of issuing more than four million e-certs in the next four years.

Smart ID is a Hong Kong e-government initiative designed to enable all citizens engage and exchange information electronically with the government. It will be offered to the entire Hong Kong population, phased in to replace the existing, paper-based ID card.

E-cert is a digital certificate used to authenticate online transactions. It also enables users to generate digital signatures, which enjoy the same legal status in Hong Kong as handwritten signatures under the Electronic Transactions Ordinance. As well as the Smart ID application, Hongkong Post also plans to launch a number of PKI-based e-government services, including e-payments, through the second half of this year.

The implementation was managed by HP Services, a Baltimore consultancy partner. “We are deeply committed to the long-term growth of Hong Kong as the IT hub of Asia,” said Casey Poon, general manager, HP Services. “We see the e-cert on Smart ID card project as a highly strategic initiative for HP in Hong Kong, helping to elevate our city’s digital security leadership in this region.”

Baltimore’s regional headquarters are also located in Hong Kong and key Baltimore customers in the region include Hongkong Post, JETCo and Tradelink in Hong Kong, TaiwanCA, TradeVan and the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan, the Macau government, the Korean Information Certificate Authority and Chohung Bank in Korea.

Gavan Egan, senior vice-president Asia Pacific for Baltimore Technologies, hoped the new project would underpin the company’s long-term commitment to the region.

By Brian Skelly