Law Enforcement Technology

MAR 2015

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www.officer.com March 2015 Law Enforcement Technology 31 POLICING BORDERS I nternational travel ain't what it used to be. No more do we leave security to mere paper, ink, stamps, a shrewd eye and a certain amount of good faith. And why should we, when there are better tools at our disposal? Senior Advisor for the International Affairs for Passport Services Michael Holly says that specs for the first bio- metric passport were hatched in 1998 and 1999, and the U.S. issued its first electronic passport in December 2005. Biometric passports or "ePassports" are combined paper and electronic passport that contain biometric ID. This very precise information will then quickly and accurately verify a traveler's identification. Diplomats were first to carry the updated document, followed by state officials and finally tourists. This year the U.S. has joined more than 100 countries in issuing biometric pass- ports exclusively. Not surprisingly, the value of biomet- ric passports to public safety hinges on good identification management. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) protects all the data stored on the chip. Says Holly: "For the first time you can authenticate travel document in real time. You can be assured that the passport was issued by the proper issuing authority and the data on the chip has not been modified or changed. Coupled with the biometric, you know that the person who stands in front of you is, in fact, the true bearer of the passport and the passport is a valid and genuine travel document." The U.S. government uses the face as its primary biometric. But a number of countries, such as those in the EU, have determined to store fingerprint images on their passports in addition to the face. Because those countries are securing that fingerprint information Perfecting the ePassport Senior Advisor for the International Affairs for Passport Services Michael Holly on the advantages of biometric information and data-controlled checkpoints by Sara Scullin

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