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Guarantor: I.CA

Guarantee level: High

Description: The Starcos 3.5 and higher chip card with a commercial identity certificate is, like the ID cards issued from 1 July 2018, the tool used to prove through NIA that the logged-in user is who they say they are.

The Starcos chip card from the manufacturer Giesecke&Devrient is provided in the Czech Republic by První certifikační autorita a. s. (I.CA), primarily as a tool for meeting certain requirements of the eIDAS regulation.

In conjunction with a commercial identity certificate, it meets the requirements for a qualified means of electronic identification.

From the user's point of view, the process of obtaining an identity certificate is simple - it is similar to issuing a qualified certificate for electronic signature with the storage of the private key in a secure hardware device, i.e. a smart card or token. It is equally simple to use. Certificates are issued by the same I.CAs that issue other types of certificates, of which there are more than 30 in the Czech Republic.

Interested parties can choose to use the chip to store

  • a commercial identity certificate for electronic identification
  • a commercial identity certificate for electronic identification and a qualified certificate for electronic signature (Identity TWINS product, i.e. TWINS for electronic identification).

The TWINS option has the advantage of issuing both certificates on the basis of one application and one verification of the applicant's identity.

The Starcos chip card is secured by PIN and PUK. Sensitive operations on the card can always be carried out only after entering the PIN. The PUK can be used in case of blocking the card to obtain further attempts to enter the PIN. Two possible PIN and PUK settings can be selected when the smart card is delivered:

  • The PIN and PUK is generated during personalisation and is placed in the so-called PIN envelope.
  • the card is not equipped with PIN and PUK after personalization and the client is asked to enter them when using the card for the first time.

The Starcos chip card allows:

  • enter information about the card owner, add the card owner's identification data and a photo
  • select the supported (trusted) Certification Authorities whose client certificates can be used by the client (I.CA certificates by default); other client certificates cannot be placed on the card, thus significantly limiting the possibility of using the card for unauthorized operations.

The standard size smart card is designed for use with a smart card reader. The plug-in variant, i.e. with a breakaway chip, is popular. In this case, the client does not purchase a separate smart card reader.

Some of the offered readers allow not only connection to the USB port of the PC but also wireless connection via Bluetooth.

Usage. It has also become one of the options for registering for the COVID subsidy programmes for companies and self-employed persons. Of course, it is also possible to use this device to log in to datové schránky or Portal občana.

More information: I.CA provider, I.CA resource.

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