CM Magazine

When Design Meets Security

ID cards are one of the most common documents that you will find in anybody's wallet today. They have been around for more than a century. It is truly remarkable how a document that started out as a basic piece of paper with a photo has evolved into a sophisticated polycarbonate card embedding electronics. The result is a highly secure document that not only enables us to prove our physical identity but also now allows for secure ID card verification online.

For government institutions, the fight against identity fraud and forgery remains a top priority. They are constantly searching to find new and innovative ways to stay one step ahead of the document forgers, seeking long-term and robust features in order to make the document incredibly hard to forge today and for years to come.

Experts are now pushing the boundaries of secure document design further by implementing new innovative technologies through tailor-made advanced security features.

Securing the citizen‘s identity with a cohesive and reliable document is made possible through the use of combined security features. These features are being applicated in more and more creative ways to further enhance ID card security.

Governments and states aim to provide their citizens with an attractive and flexible design, making the document memorable for controllers while enhancing its intrinsic security.

An exclusive and innovative design for ID cards and passports is achieved by combining several security features such as (CAI™, CHI™, DID™ Shape), in order to protect and highlight attack attempts while facilitating controls.

As a result, card manufacturers strive to make the best possible selection of features to match the client's needs. Their goal is to provide a product with authenticity that can be indisputably trusted.

The term “art of security” can be applied as the document not only becomes more attractive thanks to these security features but also more secure. As a result, it is easier to use and quick and simple for the controller to recognize. This in turn also facilitates controls by providing a high level of resistance against various types of attacks.

Secure and efficiently run borders are central to a country’s safety. They are of crucial importance to national security in the same way as the modern ID card has become the main link between the physical and digital world allowing citizens safe access to online government and private services.

Modern identity documents must, as a result, offer both security and exclusivity, which can be easily detectable by the document controller due to their distinctive design, visible to the naked eye. The easier a document is to remember or the more recognizable it is, the easier it is to control.

Some examples of security features:

CMI™ and CMI+™ for ID Cards: The module can be customized with a CMI™ (Customized Module Image), which is a specific image at its center such as a national coat of arms. The next-generation CMI+™ adds complexity against counterfeits as it integrates smaller additive elements around the image in the center, avoiding module substitution. Thanks to CMI™/CMI+™ security features, controllers can quickly recognize the module and verify its authenticity.

DID™ Shape for ID Cards and Passports: This high-security transparent DOVID is very easy to identify and control and is embedded into the polycarbonate document’s body. It takes the form of a design composed of two distinct reflective colors, which have the exclusive property to permute upon a 90-degree rotation of the document on its plan. As all holographic components, it includes all three levels of security. Even though the first level is the most important for a quick, robust and efficient control, the two additional security levels will help to ensure that there is no doubt of the document’s authenticity.

The DID™ Shape offers the greatest flexibility in terms of design as it enables not only the integration of national emblems such as optical security features, but also the creation of a specific shape with spread-out DOVID elements. It provides many advantages:

  • Unlimited design possibilities enhancing securities and unlocking full data protection
  • Guarantee of a high mechanical resistance of the data page
  • Field proven with large-scale on-going programs

About the Author: Amaury Chasseux is heading the product management team of the Identity Business line in charge of developing identity and vehicles solutions. He holds a master’s degree in materials engineering from the French University of Technology of Troyes and also studied management in Denmark. Amaury has been working more than 12 years in the high-security document field and before joining SURYS in 2017, he spent three years at Arjo Systems where he was in charge of cards and e-passports for major government projects.