Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Datastrip's Advanced 2D Bar Code System Helps Reduce ID Fraud

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Mar 24, 2002  ||   ,

Biometrics, Photos & Text Can Be Stored in a Compact, High-Capacity Bar Code & Decoded with a Portable Reader, Offering Low-Cost Strategy for Enhancing Security

EXTON, Penn., March 12 /PRNewswire/ – Most ID badges and other forms of identification can be altered, hacked or stolen with relative ease. To address rising concerns over identity theft and security threats, Datastrip Inc. offers a high-density two-dimensional bar code technology called 2D Superscript that not only prevents use by impostors but also allows for easy integration of biometrics, photographs and text in a single magnetic stripe-sized bar code that holds twice the data of other systems in one-third the space. This makes it possible to provide multiple layers of protection at very low cost.

The Republic of Yemen, for example, is using Datastrip’s technology for a project that will combine photographs and fingerprints on more than 5 million national ID cards to be issued over the next five years. Diamond Bank in Nigeria is using the system on customer ID cards that enable tellers at all 23 bank branches to verify customers’ identity simply by inserting cards into a small desktop reader. No separate database or computer connection is needed.

Datastrip’s technology also offers a versatile, low-cost solution for applications such as the new airport security and biometric-based driver’s
license initiatives now under consideration in the U.S. to help provide positive identification of airport employees, travelers and motorists.

“Datastrip offers an inexpensive solution that raises the bar for providing security within an ID card,” said Bob Mann, President of Tamperproof ID, a Miami-based integrator specializing in identification projects. “Their system makes it possible to hold an exceptionally large volume of information on a card and provide a highly tamper-resistant identity document without adding any cost to the card itself. I believe it will become the new standard for developing ID card projects.”

Wide range of applications, one-step decoding

Datastrip’s 2D Superscript bar code symbology can be used to embed one or more forms of identification in passports, national ID cards, voter cards, driver’s licenses, access control badges, school ID cards, and other identity documents. It can also store exceptionally large volumes of information on medical insurance cards, bank cards, credit and debit cards, loyalty program cards, and other smart cards.

Identity verification is performed either online or offline with Datastrip’s DS Verify 2D, the first handheld bar code/smart card reader
capable of decoding text, fingerprints and photographs with one swipe. Weighing just 3.5 pounds, the portable DS Verify 2D has a built-in color LCD for display of photographs and text as well as an optical fingerprint scanner that can perform on-the-spot fingerprint verification.

The reader can operate as part of a PC-based solution or in a stand-alone configuration. It lowers costs by minimizing the need for systems integration and can complete decoding and biometric verification of an individual bar code in seconds. Datastrip’s technology also alleviates privacy concerns because personal data is accessible only when cardholders supply their identity documents. No external databases are necessary.

Major advantages over other solutions

Datastrip’s 2D Superscript two-dimensional bar code symbology can store 2,200 bytes of information – including a color or grayscale photograph, multiple fingerprints or other biometrics, and hundreds of words of text – in a space measuring just 3/4” by 3”. Bar codes can be printed with any standard 300 dpi printer. Key advantages over competing bar code technologies and other storage strategies include:

  • Low cost – as little as 1/10 of other solutions – due to inexpensive setup, printing and deployment.
  • Market-leading storage capacity, enabling storage of multiple modes of identification or thousands of bytes of text-based personal information without the addition of a smart chip, enlargement of the bar code symbol, or over-compression that renders biometrics or photographs virtually useless.
  • Easy inclusion of biometrics and photographs, thanks to built-in field types and compression algorithms that eliminate the programming required to use PDF-417 and other 2D bar codes for data other than text.
  • Tamper-resistant proof of identification because the bar code cannot be altered without disabling the encoded information, ensuring that no one can successfully impersonate the legitimate cardholder.
  • End user privacy because data resides on the ID card rather than in a centralized database that can be browsed by hackers or identity thieves, giving cardholders complete control over their personal information.
  • Resistance to damage, achieved through robust error correction that permits the bar code to be read even if a large portion of the symbol has been destroyed.
  • Stand-alone capability, thanks to the option to perform identity verification on the Datastrip DS Verify 2D reader without being tied to a database or network.

    Increased protection against identity fraud

    With all of these features, Datastrip’s 2D Superscript bar code technology and DS Verify 2D reader offer powerful options for enhancing security in virtually any environment. The vulnerability of conventional photo ID badges can be overcome by adding an encrypted photograph that is impervious to tampering. For additional protection, a card can include one or two fingerprints, or a fingerprint and another biometric. Text can be incorporated to store data such as personal information and passwords to further ensure security and automate data entry when uploaded to a PC.

    For applications such as university ID cards that require smart card functionality, Datastrip’s technology can be used to store fixed personal information while the smart chip can be used for active functions such as managing pre-paid meal, library and athletic facility accounts. This not only reduces costs by minimizing the memory required on the chip but also prevents cardholders from forfeiting their account balances if their card is lost or stolen because the thief’s identity will not match that of the authorized user.

    About Datastrip, Inc.

    Datastrip is a leading provider of 2D bar code software, hardware and biometric verification devices, including the 2D Superscript high-density bar code Software Developers Kit (SDK) and the DS Verify 2D integrated bar code, smart card, passport and fingerprint reader. Datastrip and its integration partners provide total solutions for production of ID cards, passports, national ID cards, driver’s licenses, voter registration cards, health cards, financial cards, birth certificates and other identity documents, as well as biometric verification systems. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has selected Datastrip’s symbology as a standard for use on Machine Readable Travel Documents such as passports and visas. For more information, including a list of applications that support Datastrip’s symbology, visit .

    CONTACT: Debbie Tarsi of Datastrip Inc., +1-610-594-6130, [email protected]

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