Biometric passport scheme hits snag

12th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — A new report suggests it may be almost impossible to include the finger prints of children up to the age of six in the new passport being introduced in the Netherlands.

12 September 2005

AMSTERDAM — A new report suggests it may be almost impossible to include the finger prints of children up to the age of six in the new passport being introduced in the Netherlands.

A biometric passport are supposed to be more difficult to forge or be used by someone other than the person issued with it.

This is because the document includes personal information such as a scan of the holder's face and fingerprints.

The US is insisting that countries switch from the conventional to the biometric passports to make it harder for terrorists to slip in and out of borders unnoticed.

But a study commissioned by the Home Affairs ministry in The Hague of trials in six municipalities has cast doubt on the feasibility of the biometric passports.

The study found personal characteristics and technical shortcomings leave open the possibility that fingerprint details cannot be recorded in the passports for children under the age of six and people older than 60.

The quality of fingerprint information in some of the passports used in the tests has also been poor.

Government Reform Minister Alexander Pechtold said he would investigate what the situation is in the rest of Europe.

Announcing the main findings of the study in Apeldoorn - one of the areas taking part in the trial - Pechtold revealed the biometric documents have also proved to be less robust than the traditional passport. This was discovered after repeated tests at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

Pechtold said earlier this year that the Netherlands would switch to the biometric passport by August 2006 at the latest.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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