The U.S. Green Card has set a global, never-exceeded standard for uncompromised security. After more than 12 years and over 20 million cards featuring HID Global’s LaserCard® optical security media, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security turned to the same technology and expertise for its next-generation Green Card.
In May 2010, the agency began issuing the new card, produced by HID Global and featuring a host of innovations in optical media for enhanced security as well as an award-winning multi-technology design that improves the efficiency of land border crossing.
By 1996, officials of the INS (now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) were concerned that the Permanent Resident Card was too easily counterfeited. Officials estimated that counterfeiters had produced hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of fraudulent documents, with some fakes selling for up to $15,000.
Under pressure to control illegal immigration and meet legislative requirements for biometric based ID credentials, the agency needed an ironclad ID solution to prevent widespread counterfeiting and to uphold its international standing as a strong and effective immigration agency.
HID Global LaserCard solution
The overriding objective was to deploy the most counterfeit-resistant document possible with secure portable data storage. The combination was required to prevent fraudulent alteration, withstand ten years of use and support efficient issuance. A secondary objective was to assure reliable visual authentication where electronic readers are not available. By 2009, the agency faced the added requirement of complying with the new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHITI) to speed land border crossings.
The U.S. Government has twice selected an ID credential, based on HID Global’s LaserCard® optical security media, as its permanent resident card. The card’s digital security has never been compromised. Forensic document specialists have testified before Congress that the card has “effectively put mass counterfeiters out of business.”
Forensic document specialists have testified before Congress that the card has “effectively put mass counterfeiters out of business.”
A major setback for mass counterfeiters
For any ID card to be effective, it must be usable in a variety of situations, especially when inspected without the aid of electronic readers. HID Global’s LaserCard optical security-media provides the industry’s strongest visual security and counterfeit resistance characteristics:
- Rapid recognition of a genuine card and counterfeit resistance based on:
- Unique visual characteristics of optical security media
- Overt, covert and forensic micro-imaged security features resolved at 25,000 dots per inch
- High contrast, high resolution “photo-like” facial image of the legitimate cardholder irreversibly laser etched into the optical security media. This “Personalized Embedded Hologram” is unique among all card-based data storage media. The image cannot be altered and serves to confirm that other personalised images on the card’s surfaces have not been tampered with
- Security diffractive image: covert security feature that can be verified with a simple inspection tool
- Storage of tamper-proof digital information (facial image, demographics, biometrics)
- ISO standard data structure for interoperability
Next generation Green Card
Optical security media enables employers, authorities and inspection agents to make a confident judgment about card authenticity and visual identification of the cardholder, even when electronic readers are not available.
Following extensive collaboration with the U.S. DHS, HID Global developed a much-enhanced, next generation Green Card whose design and features elevate the security and functionality of ID credentials to a new level.