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A French multinational that designs and manufactures electrical systems for the aerospace and defense industries. Supplies biometric technologies for the databases used to surveil immigrants in the US.

Thales acquired Dutch company Gemalto in 2019. The information below is based on Gemalto's activities and does not encompass all of Thales' involvement.

Gemalto is a digital security solutions company headquartered in the Netherlands. It supplies digital identity and data protection technologies for governments, banking and payment systems, enterprise and cybersecurity, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things. The company provides ePassports, border and visa management, biometrics, and ID cards to government agencies. In December 2017, the French defense and security company Thales agreed to acquire Gemalto in a proposed €4.8 billion deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

As of 2017, Gemalto employed 15,000 worldwide and posted revenues of €2.97 billion (or $3.36 billion). In 2017, Gemalto acquired 3M’s Identity Management Business, which provides biometric technologies to border control, law enforcement, and government identification bodies. Revenues from Gemalto’s public sector business comprised 19.4% of its 2017 revenues and increased by 20% from 2016. The company has identified border securitization as a key engine of this growth and considers the public sector to be a “fast-developing segment” due to increased demand for border and civilian tracking technologies.

Gemalto provides fingerprint matching algorithms for the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT), the central Department of Homeland Security database for storing information on immigrants. The company will supply fingerprint matching technology for Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART), the biometric database being developed by Northrop Grumman to replace IDENT. For more information on how Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses databases like IDENT and HART to track, surveil, and deport immigrants, read our summary of industries used in high-tech surveillance of immigrants.  

Gemalto also provides fingerprint identification technology for the European Union’s Eurodac database, which serves 32 countries and stores biometric information belonging to asylum-seekers and those detained while crossing the border.

This profile was last updated on
6 January 2019