The new Austrian identity card: modern and tamper-proof –

Austria has launched a new, more secure identity card as well as the mobile phone application “CHECK-AT” which allows the authenticity of new cards to be checked.

“Modern, tamper-proof identity cards are a crucial basis for a functional security infrastructure,” said Dr. Franz Ruf, Director General for Public Security at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, when presenting the new card. of identity and the “CHECK-AT”.

The identity card was developed in close cooperation between experts from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Austrian State Printing Office. The state printing office also designed the associated verification application.

Lukas Praml, Managing Director of the Austrian National Printing Office, stressed: “Every ID card only develops its protective effect for personal identity if it can be easily and securely verified at the same time.”

With the already familiar biometric data chip from the passport, as well as a new personalized QR code and other security features, such as a transparent window with temperature-dependent color, the new generation of the ID card brings a number of enhanced security features.

In addition to a modern and secure document, a modern and secure means for the digital verification of documents has also been developed: the “CHECK-AT” application. Available for iOS and Android, the smartphone app guides users through the process of verifying the digital and analog security features of the new ID card, helping them assess whether they have a genuine document.

The new identity card can be requested from passport authorities and authorized municipalities from August 2, 2021. Identity cards issued before this date will also remain valid.

Document forgery as a driving force for crime

Falsified or falsified documents enable criminal activities such as trafficking in human beings or drugs, trafficking in weapons or stolen vehicles. However, document forgery is also one of the bases of white collar crime, corruption, property crime and terrorism. “This criminal phenomenon is so threatening that at European level document forgery is described as one of the three main drivers of organized crime,” said Dr Ruf.

The high number of document forgeries is partly due to the fact that forgeries require only limited sophisticated tools or excessive investment – computers equipped with scanners and printing machines are most often used to imitate security features of origin. The continuous development of Austrian identity documents and the implementation of new security features ensure that Austrian documents are and remain unattractive to counterfeiters and criminals due to the extremely high effort required. This is also the reason why Austrian travel documents are rarely forged or tampered with by criminals. If falsifications of Austrian documents circulate, it is mainly abroad.

About 200,000 identity cards are issued each year in Austria. According to a study by FRONTEX, an average of 300 counterfeit or falsified Austrian documents, such as passports, fake entry stamps or fake identity cards, have been seized every year in the European Union since 2018. precisely why it is important that the verification of identity documents is not only possible for trained police officers, but also for citizens,” stressed Dr. Ruf.

Austrian Ministry of the Interior

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