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Libya and Pakistan unveil biometric passport plans

Embedding biometric information in passports to authenticate travelers
Libya and Pakistan unveil biometric passport plans

Libya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has announced its first diplomatic and special ePassport program in partnership with HID Global. The new documents can be upgraded to include biometrics.

As part of the new collaboration, the company will provide the Libyan government with access to HID Integrale, a tool designed to manage the entire passport lifecycle.

“We are pleased that our collaboration with HID Global has yielded a robust and complete ePassport system that we have seamlessly integrated with our existing processes,” said Mohamed Elkoni with Libya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to HID, the new passports will include a durable polycarbonate data page and will be personalized using laser engraving and chip encryption equipment.

“HID’s identity document expertise, the delivery of the solution in record time against the current restrictive backdrop, and ongoing technical support have greatly simplified the implementation of our new systems,” Elkoni added.

As far as compliance is concerned, HID Integrale’s public key infrastructure (PKI) service will create and manage Libya’s Country Signing Certification Authority (CSCA) keys and certificates in order to sign personalized eDocuments and enable verification.

By implementing the PKI service, Libya can connect with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Public Key Directory, which in turn enables the global use of their new digital passports and the potential for future security enhancements, including biometrics.

The solution’s web-based platform also makes it possible for HID engineers to directly train the ministry’s staff as part of HID Integrale’s customer support package.

“A successful migration to an ePassport system requires a solution that enhances each touchpoint of the user experience, from application to travel,” commented Craig Sandness, senior vice president and head of Secure Issuance and Citizen ID Solutions with HID Global. “By opting for HID’s Integrale software suite, the Libyan government has created a solid and future-proof foundation to issue diplomatic and special ePassports.”

Pakistan government to launch biometric passports

Pakistan’s federal government is planning the launch of a new digital passport scheduled for May this year, The Nation reports.

The new passport will feature a microchip with embedded biometric information about travelers to help authenticate individuals.

The design of the new document would show two photos of the passport holder (as opposed to one in the current version) and could be updated further before printing with additional information by the Pakistani immigration and passport authorities.

For the new system to be active at launch, biometric eGates will have to be installed at airports by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by May.

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