Feeds

UK overseas passports go biometric from 2006

No fingerprints, just faces

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has announced a £5m deal with 3M to kit out its embassies and consulates overseas with the technology needed to issue "biometric" passports. However, the scope of the deal largely confirms that the biometric element is less high tech than we might have imagined.

There will be no fingerprints on overseas passports for the time being, and the only biometric involved is facial recognition data. This will be taken from the structural dimensions of the standard passport photos and coded onto a chip, rather than involving complicated specialised photography that can map a face in three dimensions, etceteras. The chip will also include the passport holder's name, age and place of birth.

The deal with 3M, then, is mostly about making sure passports issued abroad - and one in 10 British passports is issued outside the UK - are issued as securely "as those issued by the UK Passport Office", according to the 3M announcement. We could probably get away with calling it a standard secure document issuing system with a little biometric garnish.

David Cook, general manager, 3M Safety and Security Division said that the goal was to ensure that multiple travel documents are not issued to the same person. "This is just the beginning. To complete the journey, all UK issued passports must become biometric," he added.

The UK's 104 consulates and embassies will begin issuing the chipped passports in January 2006. ®

Related stories

'RFID the lot of them!' UK ID card to use ICAO reader standard
UK EU presidency aims for Europe-wide biometric ID card
UK biometric ID card morphs into £30 'passport lite'

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.