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Electronic Passports Might Not Measure Up


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#1 KoanYorel

KoanYorel

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 04:24 PM

The United States hasn't issued any microchip-equipped passports yet, but as the Department of State tests different prototypes, the international standards for the passports are under fire from privacy advocates who worry the technology won't protect travelers from identity thieves. (Nov 21, 1:13 PM (ET) By ELLEN SIMON) The American Civil Liberties union has raised alarms and even an executive at one of the companies developing a prototype for the State Department calls the international standards woefully inadequate. As part of heightened security post-Sept. 11, all new U.S. passports issued by the end of 2005 are expected to have a chip containing the holders' name, birth date and issuing office, as well as a "biometric" identifier- a photo of the holders' face. The photo is the international standard for biometrics, but countries are free to add other biometrics, such as fingerprints, for greater accuracy. Privacy advocates have complained about the security standards for the passports, but Pattinson is the most prominent person involved in their creation to express concern that they could become prey for identity thieves if safeguards aren't standardized.
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