Jumio’s Dean Nicolls has a helpful new breakdown of the advantages of biometric e-passports on the company’s blog.
As Nicolls explains, e-passports are distinguished from traditional passports by their use of an embedded microchip. That chip generally includes the passport holder’s essential biographic information, such as name and date of birth, together with a profile image. It can also house additional biometric data such as fingerprint and iris biometrics.
Through NFC technology, these chips can communicate this data to external sources, such as government officials. And this means that biometric e-passports can even be scanned by numerous mobile devices, since many Apple and Android smartphones now support NFC tag reading.
This all enables even more reliable identity verification. Traditional passports can be forged relatively easily, whereas the encrypted data of an e-passport – not to mention other modern security features like complex watermarks and microtext – cannot easily be replicated. Biometric e-passports are therefore almost impossible to spoof, and they can be verified without the need for physical contact – another major advantage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s no wonder that a growing number of government authorities are embracing the biometric e-passport concept, especially as more sophisticated technological solutions are entering the market. On that note, this month Jumio launched its own e-passport scanning solution in the form of a mobile SDK. And what’s more, Nicolls notes that this technology could be used to help enhance the security of other identity documents beyond passports, such as driver’s licenses.
The Jumio team believes official ID is headed in this direction, and that it’s going to enable reliable online identity verification going forward. “Jumio is blazing new trails with NFC, and we think it’s just a matter of time before the use of NFC becomes a principal paradigm for online identity verification,” Nicolls says.