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Gemalto announces laser-enhanced security features for ID documents

22 Mar 2018

Dutch-French firm invests in color laser engraving technology to boost fraud protection and ease verification for passports.

Gemalto, an Amsterdam-headquartered digital security systems developer, has this week announced the launch of two new laser-personalized innovations designed to further increase the security of official identity documents, such as passports and national ID cards.

The company stated, “These laser-generated security features are available immediately as additional options in our Gemalto Color Laser Shield secure identity solutions range and are already supported by major brands of personalization equipment.

Coincidentally, this week it was also widely reported that future UK passports will be printed by Gemalto, after the Dutch-French company successfully tendered for the proposed post-Brexit “blue UK passport” printing job - worth £490 million ($690 million) - and beaten previous contract holder, UK-based printer De La Rue.

Color laser engraving is considered to be one of the most secure ways to personalize documents. Gemalto commented, “The technique has won the trust of progressive government bodies worldwide and is gaining further momentum in 2018.”

Besides being able to produce color portraits of exceptional sharpness achieved by four color lasers, Gemalto’s two new security features can now be applied to polycarbonate documents such as national ID cards, passports, healthcare cards, driver's licenses, voting and resident permit cards.

The new enhancements are highly sophisticated but simple to adopt by the government agents in the field. They are designed to counter forgery while remaining easy for officials to verify their authenticity, thereby providing greater convenience for legitimate holders.

Secure image: Gemalto's Color Laser Shield.

Secure image: Gemalto's Color Laser Shield.

New features

The two new laser-based security features are as follows:

  • Gemalto Color Variable Microtext adds color to personalized microtext, a strong “level 2 security” feature (visible with a magnifier). This combines color and high resolution to engrave sharp characters and is difficult to forge and copy. Gemalto states that only authorized entities can access Color Laser Shield technology.
  • Gemalto Color Window This is a transparent window inside the polycarbonate card which is color laser-engraved with a portrait making it impossible to copy, while enabling quick checking. Any attempts by forgers to tamper with documents treated as such will be immediately visible. As a see-through element in color, it is described as an “eye catcher”, which enables instant inspection of the entire layer structure.

The company explained, "These two new features are part of our ongoing commitment to constant improvements in the security of our products.”

”Our Color Laser Shield technology was launched in 2014, also known as Color in PC, will see further innovations in the very near future," said Youzec Kurp senior vice president ID Document Solutions, Government Business Unit, for Gemalto. "These superior security features for ID and passport design offer the best tools against fraud and creative answers to the evolving demands of government authorities and high security printers."

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