Norway drops ear demand in photo ID

05/10/20

Norway has confirmed it won't require that people show their full ears in passport ID photos after citizens complained it would impact on their religious beliefs.

Justice Minister Monica Mæland of the Conservative Party told state broadcaster NRK that she thinks new passports and ID cards will offer enough security without showing their subject’s ears.

Norwegian police had demanded visible ears in new passport photos, as a means of confirming identification.

Objections poured in from those wearing headgear for religious reasons, and now the government has listened, reported Norwegian News in English.

People wearing turbans, hijabs or other headgear will be able to keep them in place, also when having official ID photos taken for passports or ID cards. 

Mæland cited better procedures, more secure documentation and better biometric comparisons. She conceded that she was setting aside the advice of Norway’s own police experts, whom she oversees, but she maintained that “it’s not necessary to demand more security than necessary.”

However, Siv Jensen, the leader of the Progress Party (FRP), reacted angrily to the news. 

“Here, we can see a Minister of Justice from the Conservative Party who is more concerned with complying with special religious wishes than with the credibility and security of Norwegian passports. It is absurd,” Jensen said.

 

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