Secure Identity Alliance encourages authorities to ensure the supply of chips for identity documents

The Secure Identity Alliance believes that a trusted legal identity is essential to protecting people’s rights, fostering social inclusion and supporting economic growth.

Goal 16.9 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda promotes a legal identity for all.

Embedded in national electronic identity (eID) cards and electronic passports, this identity provides access to essential public and private services for billions of people around the world. This includes proving one’s identity, accessing healthcare, opening bank accounts and much more.

As many will be aware, over the last few months, there have been many reports in the media of a shortage in the supply of electronic chips. Industry analysts believe this shortage may continue until the second quarter of 2022 and beyond. This situation initially affected the automotive sector, before extending to impact the manufacture and supply of some consumer electronic devices.

This shortage brings a risk of delay in the supply of government issued electronic passports or eID cards – for which chips are an essential component.

Two factors are expected to substantially increase market pressure: the reopening of borders as COVID-19 control measures allow and the acceleration of Digital ID deployments very often based on a secure document. Both will accelerate demand for both documents and the component chips.

Ensuring the consistent supply of chips for identity documents is critical and the Secure Identity Alliance encourages all industry stakeholders to work together in order to mitigate the potential risk of being unable to provide citizens with identity documents when they are needed. The failure to do so will have significant consequences for individual citizens, and lead to complaints and a loss of trust in the bodies issuing these documents.

The Secure Identity Alliance has identified a number of actions it believes are necessary to face this potentially challenging situation:

  • Authorities in charge of issuing ID documents should estimate their needs in terms of document deliveries for the next few years and engage with their industry partners. The current situation calls for the optimization of inventory management and accurate forecasting.
  • The potential chip shortage should also be addressed with other key stakeholders such as governments, regulators and European authorities. This will help ensure the needs of the secure identity document sector – which provides an essential service to citizens across the world – are recognized and prioritized by chip manufacturers.

The Secure Identity Alliance sees the cooperation between the document issuing entities, the industry and the identity ecosystem as necessary to ensure this matter is given appropriate attention.

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