Biometrics meets the public

To help raise public awareness of the biometric technology that will soon be finding its way into ID cards and passports a roadshow has begun in Manchester.

Sep 22, 2005
By David Howell

To help raise public awareness of the biometric technology that will soon be finding its way into ID cards and passports a roadshow has begun in Manchester.

Members of the public will be able to try first hand the recording technology that will be used to capture images of their iris and fingerprints. As part of the UK Passport Services’ awareness campaign, the public will be able to take part in an interactive demonstration that will illustrate how the new passports will work.

The technology that the public will be invited to try will include: a UKPS ePassport demonstrator; a fingerprint reader from the UKPS biometric enrolment trial; an iris reader from Project IRIS, part of the e-Borders Programme and an interactive demonstration of the new UKPS standards for photographs.

Home Office Minister Andy Burnham said: “Biometric technology is increasingly being used all over the world to combat fraud. The first biometric ePassport, containing a facial biometric, will be introduced here from early 2006. The Government does not want British citizens to have ‘second class’ passports and we will be moving towards fingerprint as well as facial image data in passports in the future to keep in step with our European partners. We are also looking at extending the protections these systems can bring to our everyday lives through a national identity card scheme.”

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