How can the French passport firm be trusted with post-Brexit contract?

How can the French passport firm be trusted with post-Brexit contract?

Fresh security fears were last night raised about the Franco-Dutch firm chosen to make Britain’s post-Brexit passports.

Gemalto, the Government’s preferred bidder, was revealed to have supplied Estonia with as many as 750,000 ID cards with security flaws.

Experts suggested the company could be linked to millions of cards vulnerable to cloning and identity theft, sold across Europe, including to at least one government and several private businesses.

The cards were said to contain chips and software sourced by Gemalto from a German firm. 

Under the Home Office deal, it is thought Gemalto will also be responsible for sourcing the biometric chips for British passports.

Fresh security fears were last night raised about the Franco-Dutch firm chosen to make Britain’s post-Brexit passports (pictured)

MPs said the revelations raised further questions about whether the company could be trusted to deliver Britain’s new blue travel documents.

British bidder De La Rue believes it came out ahead of its foreign rival on both quality and security – and was undercut only on price. 

It has said it will appeal the Government decision. Critics pointed out that the Gemalto bid saves only £10million a year, the equivalent of just six-and-a-half hours of UK foreign aid spending.

Last night the Daily Mail’s petition demanding new British passports be made in the UK surged past 300,000 signatories. A team of Mail reporters will hand it into Downing Street today, with MPs who are backing the campaign.

Cryptography expert and CEO of Enigma Bridge, Daniel Cvrcek – who found errors in the Gemalto cards after testing them – said he believed millions had been issued by the company across Europe up to September last year, when it announced it was ending sale of the flawed cards.

Gemalto, the Government’s preferred bidder, was revealed to have supplied Estonia with as many as 750,000 ID cards with security flaws. File image used 

Mr Cvrcek said: ‘The cards in question that had a problem are mostly used in the enterprise market, so l

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