e-Cards for German Civil Servants

Soon Germany’s federal servant will receive smart cards to access control, work time recording and a range of other functions.

These electronics Ids will replace the paper Ids. The new Ids contains chips to access control and perform number of internal and cross-cutting functions.

These facilities will include electronic signatures and the recording of work times. Germany’s Bundesdruckerei has developed the new card in co-operation with the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) and the Federal Office for IT Security (BSI). The cards will be made of polycarbonate and the personal details will be engraved on them by laser.

Security features will include guilloche patterns (geometric spirals), microinscription and copy-proof inks. The storage of data on the chip will be up to each individual authority, which will decide which card functions are actually used and how they are built into the existing infrastructure. The bearer’s authorisation will be needed in order to read off personal data that are “particularly worthy of protection.”