Saudi’s electronic passports feature improved security

Saudi’s electronic passports feature improved security

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is introducing chip-based electronic passports in the coming months with the machine-readable passports featuring additional security elements.

The biometric passport will contain an embedded electronic processor chip containing the holder’s biometric information that will be used to authenticate their identity. Should someone attempt to tamper with the new digital passports, the system will be able to detect it, meaning misuse of the passport can be prevented.

Access to the information stored on the chip is protected in such a way that chip is unable to be read unless you have physical possession of the passport. The memory will be sufficient to store around 30 international movements and visits.

As well as improving security issues, passengers will also be pleased to hear that it can speed up their time at the airport. The new passports can be read in minutes.

By mid-2019 over 150 countries had made the move to biometric passports – Malaysia led the way in 1998. Typically the standardised biometric information used for this type of ID authentication system are facial recognition, fingerprint and iris recognition.