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Does the e-passport replace border officials?

E-passports are not designed and are not intended to supersede the judgment of border officials. We have always trusted humans to intervene and determine state admittance and this technology is only here to assist them. The e-passport is a traditional passport with an electronic chip. It still has the traditional security features - watermarks, special inks, etc., that are checked by the border official. The same official is trained to look for signs of unease in the owner that might indicate a hidden intent. And when an automated border control scheme is operating, you will find a border official overseeing it. Anything other than a perfect match of the biometric, or any question about the security of the document, will result in an instant referral to that border official.

For more information, visit the US Electronic Passport Tutorial.
See also, What is an electronic passport (epassport)?, What happens at border control?

Courtesy the Keesing Journal, 2009

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