Idaho extends contract with Digimarc to include license security

The Idaho Transportation Department, in a move to beef up the security of its driver's license system, has awarded Digimarc Corp. a five-year, $4.6 million contract extension.

Terms of the contract call for Digimarc of Beaverton, Ore., to improve system security and protect Idaho citizens from driver's license fraud.

Idaho's Transportation Department will upgrade the security of its driver's licenses by adopting Digimarc IDMarc, a machine-readable, digital watermark security feature.

Digital watermarks are designed to prevent counterfeiting, alteration and photo swapping. They are imperceptible features that allow cross-jurisdictional authentication of driver's licenses using scanners with special software.

Digimarc estimates that one of every two driver's licenses issued in 2007 will include digital watermarks.

Idaho's Transportation Department also plans to adopt new, secure enrollment products from Digimarc, the company said. These include Digimarc's Camera Tower, Capture Software and Image Server to securely capture, store and serve up images needed by driver's license issuers for card production, renewals and fraud investigation.

With the addition of Idaho, 20 states now use Digimarc's digital watermark security feature.

Ethan Butterfield is a staff writer for Government Computer News' affiliate publication, Washington Technology.

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