ActivCard Acquires Biometrics Company

Smart card solutions provider ActivCard S.A., Suresnes Cedex, France, has acquired Ottawa-based biometrics security technology provider Ankari Inc. for $18 million, ActivCard announced Nov. 14.

ActivCard plans to incorporate Ankari's software framework, called Trinity, into its own smart card and digital identity solutions. Trinity allows organizations to verify identity through combinations of authentication techniques, such as passwords, digital certificates, security tokens, smart cards and biometrics.

The company hopes that combining the two product lines will result in an offering that will better help clients migrate from legacy single-source authentication solutions to smart card-based, multiapplication solutions.

"Large-scale digital ID projects around the world are demanding tight integration of smart cards and biometric technology. Our acquisition of Ankari expands the breadth of our digital identity products," said Steven Humphreys, chief executive officer of ActivCard.

Ankari, formerly known as American Biometric Company Ltd., was incorporated in 1996 as a research and development affiliate of DEW Engineering and Development Ltd., an Ottawa-based equipment manufacturer and designer specializing in aerospace and defense.

The Department of Defense selected ActivCard's usage software and digital identity provisioning system as part of its Common Access Card project, which will issue smart cards to service members as identification badges.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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