With last year’s publication of the Sixth Edition of Document 9303 Part 1, the International Civil Aviation Organization has moved the world’s passports to a new level of travel document security, data integrity and identity management. This two-volume set of specifications culminates the work that began with ICAO’s first RFI (Request for Information) issued in 1995. This effort reached out to the world’s vendors and asked for three areas of focus: physical security features; biometrics; and, data storage media. Emphasis was placed on the latter two, with the connection being that a higher level of storage capacity was required in order to allow for the storage of biometric information on passports. Now, more than fifteen years of hard multilateral work later, deployment is well underway for what most observers consider to be the most secure passport the world has ever known. Outlined below are a few aspects of policy consideration in implementing biometric enhanced, chip-based passports.

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