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Thales selected to manage biometric acquisition system for secure e-documents in France


Thales, in partnership with Orange Business Services, has signed a new contract with ANTS, France’s national agency for secure identity documents, and has become the French market leader in civil biometric systems.

Neuilly-sur-Seine – Thales, in partnership with Orange Business Services, has been awarded a contract to provide through-life support for the biometric data acquisition system for French passports. This new civil biometrics programme in France further strengthens Thales’s leadership in the French identity management market.

France’s biometric acquisition system currently comprises around 4,000 biometric data acquisition devices, located at local and regional government offices in metropolitan France and the country’s overseas departments and collectivities. These devices are used to capture digital fingerprints, take photographs and record the personal details of applicants for French passports. Through-life support of the system must take account of the dual imperatives of availability and quality of service.

Thales will also develop a modular, scalable biometric data acquisition solution for ANTS. The new system will be device-agnostic to ensure interoperability with any equipment provided by any supplier, making it possible to deploy the highest-performance biometric, digitisation and security solutions available at any given time without needing to redesign or upgrade the overall data acquisition solution. ANTS and Thales are also developing a highly intuitive interface for the new solution to make it quick and easy for users to familiarise themselves with the local processing application.

These devices will be based on Orange Business Services’ scalable infrastructure, the only actor to manage its own network both in France and in its overseas territories. The infrastructure, deployed for ANTS, provides high availability and high quality services based on a guaranteed speed, as well as a support and intervention centre.

“This new contract has strengthened Thales’s leadership as the French market leader in secure identity solutions,” said Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President, Secure Communications & Information Systems. “Thales has assisted the French government in the production of national identity cards for over 17 years and has generated more than 250 million secure documents around the world. This latest contract further consolidates our position as a trusted partner in the field of secure identity documents.”

The French market leader in civil biometric systems

In France, Thales’s credentials include three of the largest civil biometrics programmes to date.

In early 2012, Thales developed a software application for the French Ministry of the Interior enabling digital fingerprints to be captured and included with identity photographs in electronic residence permits for foreign nationals in France. This biometric application has been installed on 600 data acquisition stations to date and will ultimately be rolled out to more than 1,200 locations.

In 2010, Thales signed a contract with the French Ministry of the Interior to deploy a biometric data collection and transmission system to handle Schengen visa applications in several countries.

In 2009, Thales was selected by the French Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Immigration to design and deliver the Grégoire national biometric system, which incorporates the biometric functions required for managing the residency of foreign nationals. This biometric solution incorporates the TAMMIS (Thales’s Automated Multi Modal Identification System) automated fingerprint identification systems developed by Thales.

Notes to editors

Thales is one of Europe’s leading players in the security market. The company’s unique experience in key technologies (sensors, networks and secure information systems) positions it as a world-class integrator of complex systems and value-added services. Thales offers intelligent, fully integrated security solutions to better protect the personal data of citizens.

Identity management systems play a major role in a country’s economic and social development. They help simplify relationships between administrations and the citizens they serve, providing easier access to elections, job vacancies and social services.

Thales produces identity documents and operational control systems in over 25 countries. More than 250 million secure identity documents have been generated by Thales.

Thales is a long-standing supplier of identity systems, biometric systems and secure documents both in France and around the world.

Thales has assisted the French government in the production of national identity cards for over 17 years. The company has also supplied 20 million electronic identity cards to Morocco, which recently renewed the contract for a further 5 million cards annually.

In Kenya, Thales has been selected by the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons to supply 2 million secure national identity cards and support the upgrade of the identification system.

In Cameroon, Thales has supplied and installed a system to produce and manage national identity cards, refugee cards and residence permits for foreign nationals.


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