Madeira, Portugal Pilots Digital Identity Platform Program

The island of Madeira, off the coast of Portugal, has begun a pilot program to provide a digital identity platform that enables a wide range of safe, secure, and efficient id-related transactions for its citizens.

The program is a part of the government’s smart island program and will use a high-security biometric system-on-card (BSoC) product, provided by the technology group Tactilis. The BSoC will use a government-grade fingerprint sensor, 4GB of internal storage memory, a microprocessor, and a standard smart card chip and can be used with conventional terminals already on the island.

The ‘M-Smart’ biometric security research and development project was developed at the Madeira living laboratory in Portugal. A consortium of companies, called ’Power of Touch,’ will implement the pilot.  The consortium has ordered 3,400 cards and 600 wireless card readers/carriers for the smart island program which will start with 12 projects covering areas such as education, healthcare, port security, transport, payments, and tourism as well as a range of government services.

From a security and privacy standpoint, The Tactilis card’s biometric identity system uses decentralized architecture, meaning that the owner’s fingerprint biometrics are stored securely in their own personal card and are not needed in a centralized database.

“The Government of Madeira is very enthusiastic about the vast possibilities for this technology and its ability to make the life of Madeirans more convenient, safe and secure,” said Madeira president, Miguel Albuquerque. “At the same time, it will enable our government and related agencies to deliver a wider range of services securely whilst managing their operations more efficiently. Madeira is well positioned to pioneer this technology to the rest of the world. We now look forward to seeing the first pilots start early next year and the full roll-out commencing later in 2020.”

The smart island program is financially supported by the Madeira government and the European Union.