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For Security & Risk Professionals

What CISOs Can Learn From The US Government's E-Passport And HSPD-12 Initiatives

February 6, 2007


Why Read This Report

As part of a United Nations standardization effort, the US and 14 other countries have begun issuing e-passports, which add contactless integrated circuit chips (ICs) containing biometric data on the passport holders to their standard passports. The US public raised significant security and privacy concerns about the use of contactless ICs, which forced the US State Department to modify its design. Digital credentials like the new e-passport are here to stay, but they are a work in progress both technically and in public acceptance. The experiences of the government in implementing the e-passport and a more comprehensive digital credential program, known as HSPD-12, are instructive to other potential digital credential issuers in avoiding similar security and end user acceptance pitfalls.

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