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.
Courtesy the Keesing Journal, 2009