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South Africa’s ‘Smart ID cards’ set to be the most advanced in the world

South Africa announced its plans to introduce Smart ID cards that some experts claim will be the most 'advanced' and sophisticated in the world. The announcement was made at a recent cybersecurity symposium in Johannesburg. Solutions Director of LAW-trust, Maeson Maherry has been tasked with the responsibility by government officials to implement the ambitious seven-year eID project - that will be overseen by the Department of Home Affairs.

According to Maherry the new digital identification process will be one of the most advanced in the entire world. He added that many nations around the world now realize that ID credentials must have the capabilities to cooperate with the digital world. He said, "Many countries around the world are starting to realize that an identity credential must interact into the digital world. This has led to chip-based ID cards and even chip-based passports."

One of the key factors in the new identification process according to those involved in the project - is that automation significantly reduces the chances of anything going wrong. In addition to this, the card has greater durability and will contain a number of advanced security features in the chip which will greatly enhance the security aspect of the IDs.

Maherry said, "Many people don't think Home Affairs [implemented a Smart ID card] because you can't see the chip, but it's actually a contactless chip. As the card doesn't have to be inserted and removed from readers to be used, this is great for its durability. South Africa's new Smart ID card will have a number of advanced security features in the chip and in the card's printing - and will serious improve the countries security infrastructure."

Other component of its advanced security features are the new 'Smart ID cards' is that data in the chip is secured courtesy of a mixture of public and symmetric-key cryptography. However, the jewel in the crown for South Africa's Smart ID card is the fact that the IDs will be public key infrastructure. (PKI) This will ultimately allow it to interact in businesses and e-government processes. Biometric data is another secured feature on the card, so your fingerprints may be matched to it offline.

Considering the combination of the contactless chip and security features that enable a PKI-based card, it is clear that South Africa has implemented one of the most advanced Smart ID cards in the world.