One year after the introduction of the new electronic ID card, Bundesdruckerei in Berlin has produced and delivered more than 8.5 million of these high-security ID documents with Internet functions that are unique the world over. The potential of this small piece of high-security technology is becoming apparent through first applications on the net.
By introducing the new national ID card, Germany’s government has paved the way for greater ID security in the digital age, implementing one of the world’s most technically demanding projects. Bundesdruckerei and its partners equipped almost 20,000 PC workplaces at around 5,400 ID card and passport offices in 16 federal states with hardware and software. The company not only developed a new system for the ordering and production processes, but also an entire technical infrastructure that allows the ID card to be used on the Internet too as proof of ID. Since it was launched on 1 November 2010, 8.5 million German citizens have already received the new electronic ID card in credit-card format.
One year after introduction, Ulrich Hamann, CEO of Bundesdruckerei, takes stock and looks to the future: “We were faced with the enormous challenge of having to co-ordinate and master a hugely heterogeneous municipal IT landscape with 11 different public agency applications from different manufacturers along with dozens of municipal computer centres and IT service providers. The application procedure, ordering and production are now running smoothly. What we now have to do in the years to come is to demonstrate to business and the administration the potential of this ID card and most especially its online ID function.” More than 20 companies and institutions already offer the online ID function on their websites. These include reputable insurance companies, Germany’s Pension Insurance Association, the Federal Motor Transport Authority and various municipalities. Many more have announced that they are planning to present similar online applications in the coming months.
The new ID card comes with unique application and security features and enables optimum protection of the holder’s identity even in the online world. Many innovations by Bundesdruckerei’s research department went into developing the new ID card, including for instance, Innosec® Fusion, a colour personalisation technology. Around 50,000 ID cards can be produced each day on Bundesdruckerei’s specially designed production line. The total processing time, i.e., from application to issuance at the ID card office, takes around three to four weeks. The pure production time for these documents is usually around 6 working days.