By Mark Sutton
The Republic of Yemen has announced plans for a national ID card scheme, using 2D barcoding to carry biometric data on identity documents.
Yemen plans to introduce an innovative two-dimensional barcode for its national ID cards. The barcode will hold encoded fingerprints and other personal data for identification. Over the next five to eight years, over five million cards will be issued in the Republic.
The barcode, developed by UK-based Datastrip and supplied by DAR of Yemen, is a high density barcode that will be printed on the reverse of the card, and hold up to 2kb of data. Handheld readers, the DSVerify2D will be used to read the cards, and will also carry a biometric fingerprint scanner to verify identification with the details encoded on the card.
Yemeni citizens will have to register at twenty centres throughout the country, where the cards will be printed. Because the barcodes can be printed onto card or plastic, they are much easier to deploy than magnetic strips or smart cards, and are also much cheaper.
"Yemen's ID card project will be an important enabler in the modernisation of Yemen's public and private service infrastructure", said Abdulla Alaghil, managing director of DAR.
"This is a far-sighted initiative by the Ministry of the Interior which will have a profound beneficial impact on the commercial and social life of The Republic of Yemen", adds Patrick Gilmore, Datastrip's Business Development Director.