eID, Smart Cards, Biometrics and ePassports firmly on the agenda of Europe’s largest independent IT security event

Posted on July 06th, 2005

Following the passing of the UK Prime Minister’s ID Card Bill last week, eema, the independent European association for e-business, today announced it would be addressing identity cards and biometrics at this year’s ISSE event in Budapest, on 27th-29th September. High-profile industry experts will chair sessions on the technologies and reliability as well as emerging concerns over security and cost of the proposed scheme.

Co-organised by eema, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), and TeleTrusT, hosted by the Hungarian Ministry of Informatics and Communications, and supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Labour, Europe’s largest independent debate on key security issues and challenges facing IT professionals will focus on security as part of business processes and electronic transactions.

‘The pitfalls and strengths of biometrics in secure processes including ID cards and passports continue to generate mass debate,’ says Head of Special Projects at eema, Roger Dean. ‘The technologies involved are revolutionary and will be a part of everyday life within the next few years. ISSE will examine the effects and consequences of those technologies on the secure IT industry and society as a whole.’

US citizens are already using biometric passports and have given an extension to some European countries including the UK, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden to implement their widespread use before October 2008 to avoid Visas on visits to the country. Such passports have an integrated circuit chip capable of storing biographic data (such as iris scans and fingerprints) and a digitised photograph, matching the documents to the person.

The sessions on eID and biometrics on day two of ISSE will be hosted by representative speakers from; Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT) Germany, Giesecke & Devrient GmbH Germany, Siemens AG Austria, Infineon AG Germany, Utimaco Safeware AG Germany, Be-Secure, Telecom Italia Lab (TILAB) Italy and Smiths Heimann Biometrics Germany. Case histories illustrating the effects of ID schemes include that of ROBIN, a biometrics-based security environment at the Dutch court organisation.

About eema

For 18 years, eema has been Europe’s leading independent, non-profit e-Business association, working with its European members, governmental bodies, standards organisations and e-Business initiatives throughout Europe to further e-Business technology and legislation.

eema’s remit is to educate and inform around 160 Member organisations (and over 1,500 Member contacts) on the latest developments and technologies, at the same time enabling Members of the association to compare views and ideas. The work produced by the association with its Members (projects, papers, seminars, tutorials and reports etc) is funded by both membership subscriptions and revenue generated through fee-paying events. All of the information generated by eema and its members is available to other members free of charge.

Examples of papers produced recently are:- Towards Understanding Identity, An Introduction to Instant Messaging, Spam and e-mail Abuse Management, Wireless Deployment Guidelines, Secure e-Mail within the Organisation and PKI Usage within User Organisations. eema members, based on a requirement from the rest of the Membership, contributed all of these papers. Some are the result of many months’ work, and form part of a larger project on the subject.

Any organisation involved in e-Business (usually of a global or European nature) can become a Member of eema, and any employee of that organisation is then able to participate in eema activities. Examples of organisations taking advantage of eema membership are Unilever, Volvo, Shell, Royal Mail, KPMG, Magyar Telecom Rt, National Communications Authority, Hungary, IBM, Microsoft, HP, and the Norwegian Government Administration Services to name but a few.

Visit www.eema.org for more information or contact the association on +44 1386 793028 or at info AT eema.org

By IT Observer