HID global just announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the international identity solutions business of De La Rue. The company clearly says it will “broaden HID Global’s leadership position in the government-to-citizen identification market and extend its capabilities.”
De La Rue has been involved in ID systems for years. The UK-based company is issuing secure identity documents for more than 25 countries and has put to work together its longstanding expertise in security printing and all security features involved in ID documents with its know-how in electronics, cryptography and systems integration. So far, De La Rue national identity services is issuing over 15 million passports per year. However, last year De La Rue lost the post-Brexit blue UK passport to Gemalto, creating furor among British nationalist brexiters. HID Global will merge its own HID Authentication Service, which is part of its cloud identity platform, which delivers on-boarding and authentication services with De La Rue offer.
US governments generally are concerned with the supply chain for the US Passports. In the past, some US politicians complained when the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) the passport inlays were manufactured in Thailand by Smartrac claiming Thailand was home to terrorists. This led Gemalto to become one of the suppliers of US passports. Now that Gemalto is acquired by Thales, some US officials complained that a part of US passports would be manufactured by a company belonging to the French government and part of the French strategic industries.
One may remember that HID has built its ID offer through a series of acquisitions. One of the latest ones is Crossmatch, a leader in biometric identity management and secure authentication solutions acquired in 2018, and its authentication solutions and government biometric solutions are now part of HID offer.
HID Global and Entrust Datacard, which recently acquired Thales HSM business line, are becoming more and more significant competitors of the established mostly European players on the worldwide ID business.