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“New passports are inadequate”

Published on 20/06/2007

20 June 2007

BRUSSELS – The so-called biometric passports that have been issued in Belgium since 2004 are not satisfactory. The personal information on the electronic chip is not protected in any way and can be read remotely using a simple and inexpensive piece of equipment, De Morgen reports.

This has emerged after an study by the University of Louvain-la-Neuve. The researchers, led by professor Jean-Jacques Quisquater, are urging that the passports immediately be taken out of circulation.

“First generation” biometric passports were issued in Belgium between the end of 2004 and July 2006. The passports are valid until 2011.

The UCL Crypto Group investigated the security of these passports and has ascertained that private information on the chip is not protected in any way whatsoever.

The “second generation” passports, which have been issued since July 2006, are protected but the security is far from adequate, the researchers say.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news