Taiwan plans to issue biometric passports
Taipei, Jan 15 (DPA) Taiwan revealed plans Monday to issue biometric passports to counter passport forgery, but some lawmakers expressed fears that the new document could leak personal data.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yang Tzu-pao said issuing bio passport is to follow the international trend and to tighten passport control. Some 30 countries have introduced bio passport.
"We plan to introduce bio passports on a small scale for one year before formally introducing it. We will not introduce it hastily because our main concern is human rights," he told parliament.
But some lawmakers are sceptical about the safety of bio passport, fearing that it could leak personal data.
"It is necessary to upgrade anti-passport forgery measures, but it is also important to safeguard human rights. We will not pass the bill for bio passport until the foreign ministry can guarantee that bio passport is 100 percent safe," lawmaker Chou Shou-hsun told reporters.
Biometric passport, also called BioPass, contains a non-contact chip, which stores the passport holder's information and biometric features like facial characteristics and fingerprint.
While most countries charge about $50 for issuing an ordinary passport, the charge for a bio passport is twice as much because bio passport contains more security features and is more difficult to produce.