Governments invest increasingly in secure travel and identity documents, electronic identification and biometrics, a reliable citizen registration and other elements of their national identity infrastructure.
Very little reference material is publicly available; this gap in reference material challenged the specialist Diana Ombelli and Fons Knopjes to compile Documents: the Developer’s Toolkit, a book about how secure documents are developed.
Unlike the past, identity documents require constant attention and the effort has become an ongoing process for governments. The lifecycle of a passport for instance is nowadays considerable shorter than it was 20 years ago and the application of new technologies provides a wide range of opportunities but also new threats. Experiences show that it is also essential that the elements of the ID infrastructure are being reviewed and developed in connection with each other. Unfortunately such an integrated approach is no common practice yet.
The development of documents is often viewed as a highly technical process.However, it is important for a range of stakeholders – both government and private – to process a sound understanding of the basic concepts and processes that underpin the issuance of a secure document.