Technical issues delay Belarus’ January introduction of biometric passports

Technical issues delay Belarus’ January introduction of biometric passports

In March, Belarus was announcing its decision to push back biometric passports from release in January 2019 to January 2020. Yet the European country has decided to postpone the ID-card project again due to technical reasons, according to Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs – the head of the public security police Nikolay Melchenko, writes News Tut.by (as per Google Translate).

The news source reached out to Alexei Begun, head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who did not reveal an official date for when the roll out will begin. He said, however, that a deadline will be made public by December 2019 and biometric passports will be introduced for citizens at some point next year.

Biometric passports are a joint project between the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Communications and Informatization, the National Center for Electronic Services, and the Department of State Marks of the Ministry of Finance. According to media, the ID-cards could be equipped with a digital signature linked to the Belarusian Integrated Service-Settlement System, but the biometric passports will still have to be checked for regulatory compliance by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The ICAO was recently forced to defend the privacy protection of its security standard for biometric passports after researchers alleged passport holders could be tracked by unauthorized parties.

The country hopes replacing traditional passports with biometric ID cards will allow it to negotiate easier travel opportunities to other countries.

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