Thales has been awarded the contract to supply a new generation of British Passport Online. The new blue non-EU electronic passport would be gradually introduced from 2020.
The new British passport online will integrate for the first time a polycarbonate data page and include new security features developed by Thales.
Discover some of the major changes impacting the new travel document.
SETTING NEW STANDARDS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD
The British Passport Online has always been a universally trusted document. It allows nationals to prove who they are and the freedom to move around the world.
Home office fighting fraud
That’s why the new UK passport will be one of the most technically advanced anywhere in the world, offering holders outstanding protection against even highly sophisticated attempts at forgery and counterfeiting.
The holder’s data will be duplicated on an electronic microprocessor embedded in the document, which features a secure operating system (OS) that has been developed in-house by Thales. It is fully compliant with relevant ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards.
POLYCARBONATE FOR THE NEW BRITISH PASSPORT
High-end security features also include the use of polycarbonate rather than paper for the passport data page that contains the holder’s biographic details.
This transparent material has interesting optical properties, is very flexible, and has a very good impact and heat resistance with overall great durability.
And no surprise this material is also used to make… bulletproof glass.
When used in pure form and not mixed with other plastics, the different layers of polycarbonate fuse together to form a solid monolithic structure.
WHY IS POLYCARBONATE A PERFECT MATCH FOR SECURITY FEATURES?
New UK passport
A polycarbonate data page on Thales sample.
Significantly, this is the first time that polycarbonate has been employed in the British passport, delivering a step-change in defence against fraud.
Once fused, it is impossible to separate the layers of such a polycarbonate page.
As a result, any attempt to swap the information or photograph will destroy the page. Moreover, polycarbonate supports a ‘one-block’ concept as described in our report on passport security design, with all the images, secure elements and holder data interlocked.
All features, secure element, and ID document holder data are integrated in such a way that they protect each other from any fraud attempt.
For example, the holder’s photo, laser engraved in the card body, is fully or partially interlocked with the secure artwork, printed features are in between the document surface and laser engraved layer.
The photo side can be protected by tactile features such as positive/negative embossing, Changeable or Multiple Laser Image (CLI/MLI) or tactile laser.
The portrait can be protected by embedded Diffractive Optically Variable Image Devices (DOVID).
Alongside these compelling security benefits, polycarbonate will enable outstanding durability over the document lifecycle.