As part of rebuilding its infrastructure following a long period of civil war, the Angolan government decided to replace its outdated national identity documents in the mid 2000’s with an ID card system that was not only counterfeit-resistant and durable, but would also provide proof of identity to its entire population of 24.3 million citizens - a daunting task given that 62% of the population lives in widely dispersed urban areas and 38% live in hard to access rural areas.

After years of civil war, the Angolan Government was in desperate need to account for their geographically dispersed population and ultimately provide a much-needed backbone – a central database – for Government civil services. While an enormous undertaking, the ability to understand the landscape of its citizenry could propel this nation forward and truly change lives.

National ID card programme

In response, DGM Sistemas of Luanda (DGM) and HID Global partnered to deliver a world-class, custom National ID Card Program to the government of Angola. The programme has expanded its overall enrollment, issuance and delivery infrastructure over the past seven years, reaching more than 6.5 million citizens and bringing with it the enhanced ability to securely travel, gain employment and open bank accounts.

In the mid-2000s, Angola began its search for a replacement for its paper-based citizen ID document. The use of false documents and ID theft exposed the nation to major security concerns at a time when its new democratic government was being established and global insecurity was on the rise. The government’s vision was to provide one legal identity per person as a cornerstone of citizenship.

Adding to the challenge of ensuring one new National ID card per person was the sheer geography of the nation. To meet the needs of Angola’s widely dispersed and predominantly rural population, the government needed a solution that would allow for distributed data capture and issuance.

The government’s vision was to provide one legal identity per person as a cornerstone of citizenship

A world-class solution

The Angola National ID Card Program incorporates the latest innovations in secure issuance, card technology and citizen-centric services - services that take into account people’s needs and expectation for convenience, flexibility and affordability when participating in government programs.

The new National ID system had to meet multiple security criteria, including:

  • Matching individuals to their biometrics
  • Safeguarding personal data
  • Storing substantial amounts of information directly on the card (fingerprint biometrics, images, birth certificates, demographic data)

Angola’s dispersed geography required the ability to instantly read the card’s data in areas where there was no access to the communications network, as well as modular and mobile data collection and card personalisation systems. Delivering on these goals required the deployment of the most counterfeit-resistant document possible, with secure portable data storage, and strong visual security attributes. HID Global’s LaserCard optical security media technology was chosen for its proven security and visual authentication features. Further, LaserCard optical security media’s long-life span and ability to scale with the needs of the nation enables the addition of functions or applications like providing proof of the right to vote, and access to multiple government services.

Angolan cardholders now carry IDs as advanced as those found anywhere else in the world. LaserCard optical security media allows the cards to not only store personal and biometric identification, but prevents counterfeiting and obstructs tampering, while facilitating quick and accurate authentication of the card. The digital security of optical media-based credentials has never been compromised. LaserCard optical security media encoders allow individuals to have all ten fingerprints encoded, along with photos and personal information, for confident authentication in the field. HID Global supplies both the cards and hundreds of secure ID card printer/encoder systems.

HID Global supplies both
the cards and hundreds
of secure ID card printer/ encoder systems

Distributed issuance

The majority of Angolans live in remote, rural locations. In the first phase of the program, the new secure issuance infrastructure deployed to serve these populations included 27 centralised “fixed” centers (9 at Luanda, 2 at Benguela, and one for every other Province) for National ID Card enrollment, personalisation and issuance as well as a creative cadre of mobile units (22 trucks) to enroll and issue ID cards to citizens in remote parts of the country. Today there are more than 243 fixed and mobile of issuance centers. DGM, in partnership with HID Global and the Angolan Government’s Ministry of Justice, has successfully implemented “Over the Counter” issuance processes in which citizens are securely issued their IDs in less than an hour.

Originally launched without a network communications infrastructure in place, the program has been deployed in stages – evolving along the way. DGM had to construct a country-wide information technology and network communications infrastructure at the same time that initial “fixed” centers and mobile units began to be implemented. Today the communications infrastructure is able issue new ID cards in an hour – from biometric data collection to issuance to the citizen.

A national impact - what’s next

Beyond the most evident improvements in national security, the Angolan National ID system is contributing to building the fabric of the nation’s economy, the legal cornerstones of identity and providing citizens with improvements to their daily lives.

The country’s focus is on scaling its personalisation and printing capabilities

As the de facto identification standard for opening a bank account, employment authorisation and other daily services the national ID card is not only growing in use, but is now a requirement for all Angolan citizens. The country’s focus is therefore on scaling its personalisation and printing capabilities, along with greater service and support, especially in remote areas, to build up the nation’s central database and reach approximately 24M citizens. The Government is also adopting innovations to enhance the card technology, issuance processes and overall security and efficiency of the program.

The LaserCard optical security media technology originally selected for the card allows this expansion while preserving the security and integrity of the ID system. As the user base grows, LaserCard optical security media will also allow more sophisticated 11 authentications to enhance the security and eliminate all possibilities for fraud or counterfeiting.

HID Global government ID solutions

As a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions, HID Global is a proven and respected brand in the access control and secure ID solutions industry. HID Global’s Government ID Solutions provides governments worldwide with an end-to-end portfolio of highly secure, custom government-to-citizen ID solutions. The company has shipped more than 150 million eIDs in over 50 countries for major projects that include national ID, e-passport, foreign resident ID, worker ID, driver’s license and vehicle registration programmes worldwide.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Smart home access control growth and the future of door security
Smart home access control growth and the future of door security

There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating the smart home consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure homes through smart technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course.  In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" security on the move  The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Holiday rentals and smart home tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European holiday rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travellers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built holiday rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. Travellers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry
Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry

Security and Safety Things GmbH (SAST) is a new company that has announced its vision for an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The Bosch startup plans to build a global ecosystem for the development of innovative security camera applications. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), SAST provides libraries, an API framework, and codecs for developers to work with. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications. We presented some questions to Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management and Marketing, about the new venture, and here are his responses: Q: Why a new company now? What technology innovations have made this a good time to launch this company? The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardised Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. The difference is that there is much more needed than apps and cameras to create a complete working solution addressing a user problem in this industry – we need to make sure that our own platform as well as the new applications being created will work as a part of an end-to-end solution. Q: "Critical mass" and wide industry participation seem to be requirements for your success. How will you achieve those goals? Will you involve integrators, consultants, or other parties in addition to manufacturers (to drive awareness)? How? Mangold-Takao: SAST is in close exchange with device manufacturers, integrators and consultants, as well as application developers and large end-users at the moment to ensure that we are building the right platform and ecosystem for this industry. We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process. We will run dedicated programs and hackathons to attract app developers, already active and new to our industry. We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardised Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. SAST is actively working on this Operating System, based on Android Open Source Project (ASOP), but is evolved and hardened with industry-specific features. Q: What's the biggest thing you want the security industry to understand about SAST? What is your "message" to the industry? Mangold-Takao: Our message is simple: let’s build better security and safety systems – together! But for real, innovating an industry is a joint effort, we can only bring new innovation to this industry with partners who share our vision and are excited about new technology. At the same time, we strongly believe that our platform allows every partner to bring forward what they do best but also invite new partners to our industry.

What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?
What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?

When is it too late to learn that a video camera isn’t working properly? As any security professional will tell you, it’s too late when you find that the system has failed to capture critical video. And yet, for many years, system administrators “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” And when they found out, it was too late, and the system failed to perform as intended. Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven networked environment, monitoring a system’s health is much easier, and a variety of systems can be deployed to ensure the integrity of a system’s operation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote monitoring of a security system’s health and operation impact integrators and end users?