The European Commission has requested that all member nations include additional digital biometric information and in particular fingerprint biometric data on ePassports by mid 2009.
This second generation of electronic passports is a major step in biometrics. It creates a very strong link between the document and its owner as fingerprints offer a sure and proven means of personal identification.
The European Union has made it clear that a new security mechanism known as Extended Access Control (EAC) was necessary for access protection.
The implementation of this new security scheme for the second generation of ePassports is a global first and requires a significant amount of coordinated work from all EU members.
This white paper from Gemalto looks at the technological and historical background of EAC, assesses the impact it will have on the various key players and tracks progress to date, including some country overviews.
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