How to get a passport in the US
A bio metric passport is also called an e-passport or a digital passport t and a digital passport contains all the vital biometric information’s of the passport holder. How to get an e-passport? It is as simple as getting a normal passport in the US.
Biometric details has no parallel, the features are just yours, the chip inside the passport contains all the information’s related to your face, nose, distance between your eyes, mouth, ears etc. These particulars are obtained from the photograph in the passport, this helps to identify the passport holder, and the chip also contains the information’s of your passport.
How a Biometric Passport is Used
The chip which has all the biometric details is incorporated with an antenna and this can be read electronically, at automated passport control gates biometric checks can be used. This can be useful for the Identity and Passport Service to cross match the image (image on the passport and the one on record) at the time of renewal. You can get an e-passport by submitting a normal passport application form and it can be renewed by way of applying on passport renewal form itself.
Protection of Data
There is a three way protection for the data’s on the chip. A digital signature which throws light on the authenticity of data’s and the country which has issued the passport. There is something called ‘chip protocol’, the data‘s cannot be read without the passport holder’s knowledge. An infrastructure (PKI) which confirms that the data’s are not changed. You cannot read the details by coincidence; it can be read only with a chip reader from a distance of a few centimeters.
Every IPS Regional Office has the biometric passport reading facility; this method can be adopted to find out the details in the passport chip. The information you find out will be the same as the details on the personal information page of the passport.
Usage of the existing passport
You need not replace your existing passport with a biometric passport, you can use the present one until it runs out, the old passports are valid and the renewal of the normal passport can be carried out any time you wish if there is adequate time left. The next time you submit your passport for renewal form, you will be provided with a biometric one.
U.S. Biometric passports
The U.S. biometric passport has all the data’s and a digital passport photo on its contactless chip and it lacks the fingerprint information onto the contactless chips. The chips capacity is 64 kilobytes and has enough provision for incorporating the biometric information’s. The U.S. Department of State, now a days issues only biometric passports. Normal passports become invalid after the expiration date.
A team from Lausitz University established that it is possible to confirm the origin of the passport even without the key required for reading. Error messages were traced by the team on the passport chips from various countries. The attacker can trace out where the chip belongs.
Way back in 2005 Mark Witteman has given proof that the document numbers are traceable, allowing the attacker to break the key for reading the chip. In some of the early biometric passports Basic Access Control wasn’t used which enables the intruder to read the contents of the chip without the key.
People advocating for privacy, questions the information contained in the chip, they are a bit apprehensive whether the information will have an adverse impact on civil liberties. The key issue of their protest is focused on one factor that the data’s can be transferred with wireless technology which will result in total helplessness as far as the passport holder is concerned.
Almost every country is facing the problem of opposition regarding the biometric passport stating that it is not secure and is much complicated. Lot more issues have to be dealt with to provide profound security to the biometric passport.