Italian IPZS publishes clarification about alleged malfunction of 350.000 CIE Cards

By | May 22, 2018

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The Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS) that is the Italian Government Office and Mint on May 20, 2018 have issued a press release on the alleged malfunction of about 350.000 eID Cards, locally known as CIE (Carta d’Identità Elettronica) reported by the Rome-based newspaper Il Messaggero.

The article, published on the May 20 2018 edition of the Rome edition of the newspaper claimed that the IPZS produced and issued CIE Cards with “errors in the chips” and that some citizens carrying those cards have been unable to be cleared at Border Control places. It continued estimating in 50 Millions of euro the cost of replacement of the defective cards.

Mock up of the Italian CIE Card.

The initial reports come from a letter sent by the President of the ANCI (Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani / Association of Italian Municipalities) to all Mayors of the Municipalities were the CIE Cards are issued.

On the above reported matters, the IPZS clarifies that:

  • No Italian citizen was unable to pass trough the Border Controls
  • It is true that during the period October 2017 and February 2018 about 350.000 CIE Cards went trough personalized issues.
  • The issue is specifically about some Non Primary data injected into the Secure Element of the CIE Cards during the electrical personalization phase. The very same Non Primary data are laser engraved correctly on the CIE Cards.
  • The Primary Data read by the competent authorities during normal duties such as Cardholder Personal Data, Cardholder Photo, Fingerprints, Digital Signature of Ministry of Interior, are not affected.
  • The production issue was detected during February 2018 and the matter was promptly solved.
  • The IPZS has already setup a white list containing the ID of the affected CIE Cards in order to prevent any potential issue to the citizen carrying the affected IDs while crossing national borders.
  • The estimation of the cost for the replacement of the CIE Cards is without any basis.
  • The citizens carrying the cards affected by the issue will have the possibility to get a free replacement of their CIE Cards.

Further information on the Italian CIE Card are available on the official website of the eID.