Harper Gov’t unveils new E-Passport: does it contain biometric computer chip?

Canada states that new ePassports do not contain biometric data but the ICAO (see supplemental) set standards for passports internationally and do require biometric data. “..1.3 ICAO’s adoption of a blueprint for Biometric ID in MRTDs in May 2003, after extensive
work undertaken since 1997, represents an important step forward in machine- assisted identity
confirmation. This involved the selection of facial recognition as the globally interoperable biometric
FAL/12-WP/83 – 2 –
technology, in combination with contactless IC chips for data storage in a logical data structure (LDS),
using a modified public key infrastructure (PKI) scheme to prevent unauthorized alteration…” from http://www.icao.int/Meetings/FAL12/Documents/fal12wp083_en.pdf
Gatineau, Québec, October 26, 2012 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that Canada’s new ePassport will be full of iconic images that will make Canadian passports more attractive and more secure.

 “The new ePassport will be more reflective and representative of who we are as Canadians,” said Baird during an event at the newly renamed Canadian Museum of History. “These images showcase Canada’s history and the building of our great nation while adding essential new security features for the 21st Century.”

The new images will also serve to keep the Canadian passport one of the world’s most secure travel documents. The complexity of the images is – first and foremost – a security feature that makes the passport more difficult to counterfeit.

“Our government is tremendously proud of Canada’s rich history. We urge all Canadians to learn more about the events and people that shaped Canada and the great sacrifices made to secure our freedom,” added Baird.

A look at the inside of the new Canadian ePassports image courtesy of ppt.gc.ca

Countries around the world review their passport designs and security features periodically to stay steps ahead of counterfeiters. The new-look ePassport will help facilitate legitimate trade and safe, secure travel which, in turn, helps create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.

 The first 5-year ePassports will be issued in select locations during the first quarter of 2013. Production will ramp up through the spring resulting in the full availability of both a 5- and 10- year ePassport in early summer.

For a look at [ more of ] the images included in the new ePassport, please visit the new section on Passport Canada’s website, which features images and descriptions of the new passport design: www.pptc.gc.ca/eppt/photos.aspx?lang=eng.

Supplemental- International Civil Aviation Organization sets standards for ePassports. Standards require biometric data

Canada follows UK 2010 lead with new ePassport http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/press-releases/new-uk-passport-unveiled 

UK ePassports do contain biometric data: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4776562.stm

Toronto Star reports that the new Canadian ePassports will no longer be made in Canada but will be subcontracted to a Netherlands firm