Canadians expecting to acquire an electronic passport (e-passport) in the near future will have to wait just a little longer.
“A proposed national roll-out of electronic passports in Canada has been pushed back for a third time,” according to a new article published by Embassy Magazine.
When the plans for a national e-passport were unveiled in early 2010, Passport Canada said they expected to have them available to the public by as early as 2012. Embassy Magazine reported this week that a new strategic planning document released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the passports could be delayed until early 2013.
Electronic passports contain a small electronic chip – an RFID chip – embedded in the cover that contains key information about the passport carrier such as their name, gender, date of birth and a digital photograph of the carrier. Some electronic passports contain biometric information as well and require digital confirmation of physical attributes such as fingerprints and iris patterns.
The new Canadian passports will not contain biometric information. Monique Bolvin, a Passport Canada spokeswoman, told CBC last year that Canada chose not to include fingerprints and iris scans, which weren’t needed to comply with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“Right now the ICAO standard is the facial image,” she said.
Currently, over 80 countries around the world use e-passports and Canada is the only G8 country that has fallen behind the trend.