Anything to declare?

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The main impulse for e-passports is security. By including a digital version of biometric details in the passport, the aim is to ensure that no-one else will be able to use it.

In addition, the e-passport will allow automated immigration and simpler visa procedures, and add to the convenience of travel.  

But people are a bit worried about e-passports. They worry mainly about the passport's RFID chip, which allows contactless reading. Most of their concerns are exaggerated. For example, it isn't possible for someone to stand near immigration control and read everyone's passport as they file by.  

The current technology is already a second generation, dealing with weaknesses in the first. The new passports can authenticate the terminal, so that unauthorized readers can't eavesdrop, and encryption and certification have been improved, making it possible to include fingerprints or iris patterns in the digitized information. These additional biometrics are being rolled out now.

Most experts, both supporters and critics, agree that the main risks are in the procedures rather than in the technology itself.

Read the entire article at ASSA ABLOY Future Lab