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What is an ePassport?

What is an ePassport

An ePassport is a combined paper and electronic passport that contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travellers. It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or centre page, of the passport. Document and chip characteristics are documented in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Doc 9303. The passport’s critical information is both printed on the data page of the passport and stored in the chip. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology is used to secure and authenticate the data stored electronically in the passport chip, making it expensive and difficult to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented.

Status of ePassport in Singapore

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) is one of the first to introduce ePassports when the Singapore biometric passport (BioPass) was launched on 15 August 2006. Netrust supported ICA in this rollout and is a pioneer in delivering solutions to secure the information on these chips that fully conform to the strict standards specified in the guidelines laid down by ICAO.
Netrust implemented the Singapore’s ePassport Country Signing Certificate Authority (CSCA) and PKI System, and the ePassport signing modules, plus the ePassport verification infrastructure at the Singapore immigration checkpoints. The border control infrastructure is integrated with the ICAO PKD (Public Key Directory) and has the capability to verify ePassports of any countries in the world.

First ICAO PKD Operator

In addition, Netrust is the first ICAO PKD Operator, when the contract to setup and operate the ICAO PKD was awarded to Netrust in 2006. The ICAO PKD is an essential infrastructure for ePassport verification globally. The award of the contract to Netrust is a testament of Netrust’s technical capability and its understanding of the technology behind ePassports, PKI and PKD-related matters.

Netrust ePassport Solutions

Netrust has extended its ePassport solutions and expertise to support a number of countries in the region. We have solutions for:
  • ePassport Country Signing CA (CSCA)/ PKI and Passport Signing
  • ePassport Validation for Immigration Control
  • ICAO PKD interface for Border Control
  • Extended Access Control (EAC) implementation based on the Singapore EAC Standards

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