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Was the e-passport introduced for facilitation reasons?

The reasoning behind this myth goes something like this: with e-passports governments can introduce automated border control to facilitate the passage of travellers through their borders. This leads to a saving of money, but also a lowering of standards as somehow criminals fool the biometric systems with plastic surgery, contact lenses or rubber finger tips. The whole system becomes a "glaring security breach".

The e-passport was primarily introduced to combat forgery. However, a direct consequence of the more secure passport, with its definitive link to its owner, is that automated border control is made possible. Surveying the systems being introduced, the overriding feature is that they are all being established with careful regard to security, which is paramount. For example, tests for "liveness" are common, to counter attempts to fool the system.

See also, Does the e-passport replace border officials? and Do E-passports vary from country to country?

Courtesy the Keesing Journal, 2009

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