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HP Announces Alliance with Gemplus and Informix to Deliver Personal Information Cards for Consumers; U.S. Government Reviewing Industry-backed HP International Cryptography Framework.

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 26, 1995-- Hewlett-Packard Company, Gemplus and Informix today announced the formation of an alliance to develop a secure infrastructure that will enable corporations to speed new services to consumers via a credit-card-sized personal information card.

These cards will carry several thousand times the amount of data carried by currently available smart cards. Additionally, the data on these cards will be fully encrypted for secure international communication, so the card will be able to be used anywhere in the world. HP believes that the U.S. government will authorize the export to commercial enterprises of products in Phase I(1) of HP's international cryptography framework standard -- one of the underlying technologies in the infrastructure that will enable the international use of personal information cards. The framework is based on HP's open cryptographic structure.

Each member of the alliance will contribute keytechnologies:

-- HP -- server, encryption, middleware and networking

technologies

-- Gemplus -- advanced smart-card technology

-- Informix -- database and middleware technologies

Personal information cards, along with the international cryptography framework, will allow corporations to deliver services while still ensuring the privacy of each consumer's personal information. New business applications that could emerge once these technologies are available include the following:

-- secure communications between employees of a

multinational corporation;

-- secure transactions on the Internet;

-- secure international transactions between credit-card

and service providers; and

-- secure personal information that also is managed by the

owner.

PERSONAL INFORMATION CARD

HP, Gemplus and Informix are adding unique elements to the personal information card that will make it easy for consumers to manage their own personal information. The personal data stored on the card may then be accessed by multiple service providers for such tasks as purchasing airline tickets and storing frequent-flyer-miles transactions in a consumer's personal database. Unlike single-transaction smart cards, consumers may use their card with multiple service providers.

The personal information card will be more convenient than today's retail cards since all transactions are captured in the card, thus showing current balances in checking, frequent-user, savings, credit-card and other types of accounts. All transactions will automatically be posted to the correct place in the owner's personal accounting system. The information in the personal information card will be fully accessible and viewable by the card's owner, eliminating the need to call multiple firms or agencies to obtain or manage this information. All of this is accomplished with security that is controlled by the card owner.

INTERNATIONAL CRYPTOGRAPHY FRAMEWORK

Because current export restrictions limit the use of encryption technology for secure international communication, there is no common, secure IT infrastructure; this, in turn, severely limits international services and commerce. The framework will be incorporated into the alliance solution to address this concern. The U.S. government is currently reviewing HP's international-cryptography-framework technology to determine exportability. HP has requested export authorization to allow shipments by mid-1996 of two of the framework's Phase I elements -- providing non-user-accessible cryptography. U.S. government export approval will still be required for the framework elements that will activate the non-user-accessible technology. According to the U.S. government, HP's international cryptography framework is a promising concept that could work within export policy and provide needed commercial cryptography capabilities.

Under government export authorization, HP plans to broaden the geographic markets for Phase I products. HP's open cryptographic structure will allow a more flexible range of cryptographic capabilities and new technologies to be incorporated into customers' applications without making obsolete their existing investment in security and cryptographic infrastructure. Export licenses will be needed only for the new technologies -- not for the framework's compliant products -- thus saving customers time and money.

The framework meets the needs of businesses, the Internet and governments for secure business transactions and messages. Businesses will be able to choose the appropriate cryptography solutions to meet their changing needs and still be in compliance with evolving government policies.

"HP is revolutionizing worldwide commerce as part of an alliance that will leapfrog any announced product or service in the area of international commerce," said Richard W. Sevcik, HP vice president and general manager of the System Technology Group of the Computer Systems Organization. "HP's open cryptographic structure is another example of HP's leadership position in developing open-systems technologies for the users of computer technology."

HP, Gemplus and Informix will demonstrate the personal-information-card solution in Geneva at Telecom '95. The demonstration will show how a single, interactive card can access multiple services -- today, such access requires a separate card from each service. The single card is more secure since it contains a tamperproof processor that fully encrypts all transactions to and from the card. In addition, the card could be used to store "electronic cash," thus eliminating the need to visit an automatic teller machine to get hard currency. The same card also could be used as a credit card, all at the consumer's discretion. All transactions, cash or credit, will automatically be posted to the correct place in the owner's personal accounting system. Many more uses are being planned for the personal information card.

"Informix's experience in providing database technology in smart-card technology internationally has taught us that customers need a multipurpose card that is fast, cheap, flexible and easy to use," said Jeff Hudson, vice president of business development for Informix Software. "These personal information cards will allow service providers, such as financial institutions, telecommunications companies and airlines, to provide customers with individualized service -- all on one card. Informix's high-performance, scaleable database technology, Dynamic Scalable Architecture, is the only database that can manage the data requirements of this first-of-its-kind technology efficiently."

Gemplus is the world leader in the plastic card industry, both conventional and smart cards with a yearly production capacity of 850 million cards and an international presence in 19 countries. With production facilities and service bureau operations in the USA and in Europe, Gemplus has 1,200 jobs with a turnover of 1,084MF (million francs) at the end of 1994.

Gemplus supplies more than 80 countries worldwide in applications such as information highways, multimedia, banking, electronic purse, loyality, telecommunications (payphone and GSM cards), pay TV, healthcare, transportation, vending, physical and logical access control, etc. Gemplus' key factor of success is its commitment to total quality, its ability to keep turning out new products, solutions and applications for every imaginable customer demand.

Informix Software is the leading supplier of high performance, parallel processing database technology, for open systems. The company's database servers are the number one choice of computer hardware manufacturers for publishing Transaction Processing Council (TPC) benchmarks for UNIX-based systems. Informix products also include application development tools for creating client/server production application, decision support systems and ad-hoc query interfaces, and connectivity software that allows information to be shared transparently from PCs to mainframes within the corporate computing environment. The company's corporate headquarters is in Menlo Park, California. More information about Informix is available via the World Wide Web: hhtp://www.informix.com/.

HP is the world's leading supplier of open, client/server systems and is the second-largest computer supplier in the United States, with computer revenue of $19.6 billion in its 1994 fiscal year. HP has been delivering PA-RISC(2)-based business computers since 1986 with high reliability, data integrity, data availability and systems availability.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global manufacturer of computing, communications and measurement products and services recognized for excellence in quality and support. HP has 99,900 employees and had revenue of $25 billion in its 1994 fiscal year. -0-

Note to Editors: (1) Phase I of the international cryptography framework will integrate non-user accessible dormant encryption technology into host system for distribution in Western Europe in addition to the United States and Canada. The framework offers a flexible and scaleable range of cryptographic features that can be fully integrated into system solutions and activated only when business needs are identified.

(2) PA-RISC stand for Precision Architecture, reduced-instruction-set computing.

CONTACTS: Hewlett Packard

Bart Coddington, 408/447-1129

or

Gemplus

Aline Calvo, 33-42-32-5003

or

Informix

Jaye Prosser, 415/926-6316
COPYRIGHT 1995 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 26, 1995
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