Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. on Friday rolled out a platform to help governments establish national identity systems.
The HP National Identity System is based on Microsofts .Net platform. According to a release from the companies, it goes beyond simple secure identification and authentication, giving government ID systems the ability to be used to access e-government services and to conduct secure transactions on behalf of citizens.
Its not surprising that big vendors are rushing to address governments hunger for beefed-up tracking of citizens and travelers. According to recent figures from Morgan Keegan, as quoted in the companies statement, the identity management market is now worth about $4.8 billion and is estimated to increase to about $10.7 billion by 2007.
The HP NIS tool provides citizens with improved secure and intelligent identity documents, according to the companies statement. For example, the tool can check traveler and citizen credentials across entire countries or regions, which should ensure fulfillment of requirements to check IDs at borders.
HP NIS will also enable governments to more easily plug in elements such as biometrics, so as to be customizable to the needs of security and privacy levels as defined by a governments policies.
The system includes online and offline enrollment of demographic and biometric data through live capture. It also features local request, as well as regional or central verification and registration.
HP NIS also features online and offline identity verification, along with fault tolerance and disaster recovery capabilities.
HP and Microsoft are working together on joint training programs, along with the establishment of specialist centers around the world that will be dedicated to developing, demonstrating and selling their national identity system tools.
HP NIS will encompass a wide range of Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, BizTalk Server 2004, SQL Server 2000 (64-bit), .Net Framework and Microsoft Services.
HP identity management tools are now being implemented, or have already been put into use, in countries including Italy, Israel, Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria.