e-Passports to add more biometrics by 2014
IMS Research finds a rapid migration from paper or machine readable passports to smart card-based passports (complying with the ICAO standard for e-Passports) started in 2007, leading to nearly half of all passports now in use being e-Passports.
Within five years 90 per cent of passport holders will be using e-passports that integrate a smart card IC chip, according to IMS Research in its report titled, “Electronic Government and Health Care ID Cards – World – 2011.”
“This trend is set to continue” stated the report author Alex Green. “There are still a few countries around the world that are not yet issuing e-passports. However, most have started and with the typical five to ten year replacement rates for passports, it is only a matter of time before all passports in circulation are e-Passports.”
The report goes on to explore to what extent biometrics are being recorded on these e-passports. Interestingly, even for passports issued in 2010, in the majority of cases no biometric data is held on these secure ICs except for a digital image of the holders face.
IMS Research forecast that this will change. “By 2014, the situation is forecast to have been reversed” states Green. “By this time the majority of passports being issued will also include additional biometric data such a one or more finger print, iris scans, etc.”
The e-passport market is examined for 40 countries in IMS Research’s report. Similar analysis is also provided for the national ID cards, healthcare cards, electronic driver’s licenses and a number of other government related card types.