Lebanese Government Introducing Biometric Passports
Although some of us, like myself, aren’t really absorbing the hype of all of this advanced innovations, still living in such a hectic world, switching to most innovative technologies is rather a must. A few years ago, the biometric passport emerged to the surface. It is a game changing innovation that has ensured the ease of processes at airports & borders.
Malaysia was the first country to use the biometric passport back in 1998 and many countries have followed the lead since then. The incidents of September, 11, 2001 in the US triggered an urge to come up with new security measures. Another trigger is that there was a need to better control the migration process and eliminate forging documents. Not to mention ensure an easier, smoother and accurate identity check.
Quite recently, the Lebanese government introduced the Biometric passport which comprises the RFID technology. The biometric passport has a tiny contact-less RFID chip embedded with a writable memory that holds all the personal information to authenticate the identity of travelers. It also bears a digital image of the travelers face, along with their ten fingerprints, palm-prints and an electronic signature implanted at the front cover of the passport. The chip also records the travel history of the last ten entries and exits at Lebanese border control points.
By that, the Lebanese government ensures following the international standards and benefits from the increased security and facilitating traveling procedures granting travelers a pleasant & stress-free experience. This RFID, wireless identification technology, is pushing the “borders” and reaching far beyond its capabilities.
RFID technology depends on the RFID tag and the RFID reader. RFID tag can be either active or passive. Passive tags have no internal source of energy (battery-less) and they acquire their power from the electromagnetic waves transmitted from the reader. On the other hand, the active tags have their own source of power thus they emit their own signals. In case of the biometric passport, a passive RFID tag and an antenna are embedded within the cover of the biometric passport. The RFID tag is compatible with specific standards that necessitate the requirements of having a short read range (maximum 15 cm) to guarantee ultimate security. By passing the biometric passport onto a scanner, all the information of the traveler will appear on the screen ensuring a fast, smooth & accurate operation. Most, if not all, countries have adopted this technology where a small icon is printed on the cover of the passport indicating that it is a biometric passport.
Furthermore, this very biometric passport can be used as an identification card in companies that integrates an RFID technology in their systems. It can also be used as a key to open electronic doors or what is referred to as access control.
This breakthrough has many benefits, besides facilitating operations & its high reliability and accuracy; it has remarkably reduced the percentage of unauthorized border crossing and attempts of terrorist attacks. This biometric passport relies on the finger prints, face recognition and iris print that cannot be forged under any circumstances.
In essence, the aim of the biometric passport is to maintain privacy of sensitive information & eliminate forgery of documents. Although, there are security threats and personal information is on stake, the thing that raises a lot of concerns regarding identity theft, still there haven’t been any recorded cases of forgery or cloning data. This is due to the fact that the digital numbers on the chips are impossible to duplicate.
The biometric passport have significantly enhanced the traveling procedures by facilitating it and reducing forgery of documents. This innovation has made a positive impact on both the government and the travelers as well.