Canadian immigration to launch e-passports to heighten security
Niall J Rice
April 13 2010
Canadian immigration is to introduce UK-style e-passports, following a series of consultations. Starting as early as next year, Canadians who submit successful applications to live in Caanda permanently as citizens will receive passports embedded with chips that contain their digital images and their personal information, such as their name, gender, and date and place of birth.
The move has been greeted with caution by experts. Andrew Clement, a professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto said he was not yet confident that peoples privacy had been adequately protected, saying that reassurance in this regard “would require a thorough, expert and independent assessment with public reporting of all but the necessarily confidential aspects. He added: As far as I know, nothing close to this has been done.”
Passport Canada has defended the decision, saying the new 'e-passports' will increase security, reduce the risk of fraud and protect against tampering.
Over 60 countries have e-passports, and Canada is the only member of the G7 that has yet to introduce them. E-passports were first recommended by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2005.
The new e-passports will be valid for ten years instead of the current five.