Journal of Transportation Security

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 27-42

First online:

The ePassport — new technology to counter security threats

  • Ruwantissa AbeyratneAffiliated withInternational Civil Aviation Organization Email author 

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The ePassport is the culmination of a sustained process of development of technical specifications for machine readable travel documents (MRTD). It introduces a new dimension to aviation security in that, within the conventional machine readable passport with its machine readable zone, an additional layer of verification of information contained in an electronic chip is placed, which verifies the information in the passport’s machine readable zone by the use of a special reader. Much research has gone into the areas of the technology and verification in the development of the ePassport. At a Symposium held at the International Civil Aviation Organization in early October 2012, the ePassport was subjected to much discussion by the various experts gathered from across the globe. This article discusses these deliberations and places them against the backdrop of the privacy of the individual and aviation security law.


Biometric indentification Public key infrastructure Cryptographic technology Privacy State responsibility MRTD Symposium ICAO ePassport