Biometric Data Passport

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Biometric Data Passport

A biometric data passport contains a chip which stores digital images of your face and fingerprints. It also includes traditional information like your name, date of birth and address.

Proponents claim that the technology makes it easier to keep dangerous people out of a country. Privacy opponents worry about function creep: the potential for government to use this information to track individuals.

E-Passport System at Istanbul Airport
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Unlike the paper documents they replace, biometric data passports allow border officials to instantly identify travelers. They can do this because e-passports store traveler's data in binary code that only border customs officers can read.

The information is also authenticated by a government's public key infrastructure, an internationally upheld standard. This makes it incredibly difficult and expensive for criminals to counterfeit passports.

Fingerprints, facial recognition and iris scans are among the most common forms of biometric data used in passports. These measures are considered to be reliable because they are highly specific to individual people and there's less variability between the measurements taken of one person versus another.

Some countries have even implemented electronic passport gates at airports where travellers look into a screen while their e-passport is scanned, which cross checks the traveler's facial measurements with those stored on the chip. This process helps to eliminate human error and reduce processing times at the border.


A biometric data passport is a high-tech evolution of traditional travel documents that transforms them into powerful verification tools. Embedded with a microchip that stores a digital image of your face, personal information and a fingerprint scan, the document is also designed to cut down on identity theft.

The chip's contents are protected by cryptographic encryption that is designed to render it unreadable without the proper key. The passports also have a watermark and intricate design elements to help manage resistance to forgery.

The epassport is a great tool to fight identity fraud and make international travel less hassle for everyone, but it's important to remember that all technological identification systems are vulnerable to misuse. The ACLU warns that if the technology becomes a part of everyday life, people could start to use it for other purposes that it wasn't originally intended for, a process called "function creep." The good news is that this type of abuse is unlikely if the government is transparent about its use of the passports' data and only uses them to verify the identity of travelers.


A biometric data passport provides additional levels of security and convenience for travelers. It also helps governments to maintain a secure identity infrastructure and streamline border controls.

Traditionally, non-biometric passports had to be manually read by immigration officers. But the biometric passport, or e-passport, contains all the traditional information as well as unique identifying data. This data is stored on an electronic chip that can be scanned by specialized readers at a distance.

This technology makes the e-passport easier to process at airports and other places that require a visa waiver. For example, the US requires all travelers who enter the country via a visa waiver to have a biometric passport. And this is a good thing. As the e-passport becomes more common, travelers will benefit from the increased security and convenience of traveling abroad. Eventually, this will be the norm worldwide. But that's still a ways off. For now, travelers can enjoy their vacations with the peace of mind that comes from a passport that's hard to replicate yet easy to inspect.


At first glance, a biometric data passport looks like any other regular passport. The difference lies in the RFID microchip that carries your facial, iris, or fingerprint information.

The biometric identifiers are stored in a digital form in the passport’s chip, which is encrypted and sent to long-term storage. When scanned, it algorithmically compares with the data in the database to verify that your identity is correct.

This makes the biometric passport more reliable than any other identification method. But, it is not infallible. Hacking and privacy are two of the main challenges facing biometric technology. While it is possible to change passwords, a breach of your biometric data can be more problematic since you cannot replace your iris or fingerprints. The same problems that plague other types of technology are also affecting biometrics, such as voice bots that steal passwords and retina and fingerprint bots that can bypass security measures. But, these risks will be mitigated as the technology is refined and more features are added to it.

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