The new German national identity card is among the world’s most advanced identity documents. It allows users to perform business and government transactions easily and safely online. The card has a Smartcard format with an integrated chip which contains personal information. Among this information is the passport photograph of its owner and, in some cases, the card holder’s fingerprints. The card can be used to electronically sign binding contracts, applications and documents.
Adapted from http://www.personalausweisportal.de/EN/Home/home_node.html, accessed 2017-05-09