In an increasingly borderless world, biometric passports have become an essential tool for governmental organizations and a means to access services for individuals.
What is a Biometric Identification?
Biometric identification is a term used to describe an automated way or recognizing an individual based on unique physiological traits that are machine-encoded and able to be ‘read’ to accurately determine the identity of any individual. Biometrics are considered more reliable than any other form of identification as they use physical traits such as facial, iris and fingerprint information all at one time. One use for biometric identification is passports. Biometrics can be used to identify whether the identity bearer of the travel document matches the one on the document and to make sure that all regulations, including background checks and visa requirement, are correctly met.
Why Biometrics is so Important?
As global security issues mount, the need for a consistent, secure identification process has increased. The amplified threat from terrorism, a growing global refugee crisis as well as a significant escalation in fraud have meant that governments have had to come up with progressively more sophisticated means of handling security.
What is an ePassport?
A biometric or ePassport, also known as a digital passport, is a combination of paper and electronic passport that contains identifying biometric information that is used at ports of entry and exit to authenticate a person’s identity. A special chip embedded in the passport hold a wealth of information about the traveler including personal information and information required by border security. An ePassport has become standard in many countries as an added security measure and are tamper proof as well as having higher levels of personal protection for individual data. ePassports are regulated by the ICAO( International Civil Aviation Organization) which control how data is stored and disseminated to governments, adding further layers of protection.
Setting up biometric systems in developing countries is often challenging but, once underway provide for increased access to services by more people who have been added to the biometric system.