Thursday, July 17, 2003

Biometric-based passport in the works [updated 7/18]

According to Federal Computer Week, the US State Department is soliciting comments for a machine-readable passport which will carry - so far unspecified - biometric information. Since the US is beginning to require machine-readable passports (in lieu of visas) for citizens of some foreign countries (mainly in Europe), its felt that those countries may soon require the same thing from US citizens. According to the article, "...officials are seeking ideas from industry for creating a tamper-proof document with an embedded circuit in a paper-based passport." Comments are due by July 28 with the new passports scheduled for release in October, 2004.

Update: ZDNet UK reports that new EU Passports will contain RFID chips with biometric data. At least in the UK, cost of a passport will go up 36% according to the BBC.

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