Canada to issue electronic passports, valid for 10 years
Posted via Canadian Content

Come 2012, Ottawa will start issuing electronic passports. The news comes after Public Works and Government Services started fishing for suppliers this summer.

The new passports will contain a small RFID chip which can be read at a distance of up to 10cm. The chip will contain information about the passport holder such as name, gender, date of birth, place of birth and a small digital photo of the holder's face. The information contained would then be compared to the user and the photo and information extracted from the chip.

It is unclear whether the new passports will contain fingerprints or other biometric data apart from a digital photograph of the holder's face.

The United Kingdom also started an electronic passport scheme in 2006, only to be hacked shortly thereafter with biometric data extracted from the chip at a distance. The initial cost to British taxpayers was over C$670 million.

The British passport was hailed as the most secure in the world, so we're hoping Passport Canada at the very minimum gives a little extra thought to security. Though Canada is late, 90 other countries will have electronic passports by the end of 2010 and 104 by 2014.

The price is also set to go up and also catching up with the rest of the world, the new Canadian ePassport will have an extended lifetime, from a current validity period of 5 years to a new lifespan of 10 years.

Original Article: http://www.canadiancontent.net/commt...years_994.html