An analysis of security and privacy issues relating to RFID enabled ePassports

  • Eleni Kosta
  • Martin Meints
  • Marit Hansen
  • Mark Gasson
Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 232)


The European Union sees the introduction of the ePassport as a step towards rendering passports more secure against forgery while facilitating more reliable border controls. In this paper we take an interdisciplinary approach to the key security and privacy issues arising from the use of ePassports. We further analyse how European data protection legislation must be respected and what additional security measures must be integrated in order to safeguard the privacy of the EU ePassport holder.


Personal Data Privacy Issue Identity Theft International Civil Aviation Organization Data Protection Directive 
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    ICAO = International Civil Aviation Organization,
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    A. Juels, D. Molnar, and D. Wagner, Security and Privacy Issues in E-passports, IEEE SecureComm 2005; available online at The term ‘intended’ indicates the range of vendor-standard readers.
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    Protection Profile BSI-PP-0016-2005 and BSI-PP-0017-2005, certified in August and October 2005 respectively by the German Federal Office for Information Security; available via
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    This has recently been analysed and demonstrated with a Dutch passport (see H. Robroch, ePassport Privacy Attack, 2006, which also details reading and eavesdropping distances; see
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    In France: e.g., the project INES (identité nationale électronique sécurisée), January 31, 2005;; in Germany: C. Engel, Auf dem Weg zum elektronischen Personalausweis, Datenschutz und Datensicherheit 4/2006, pp. 207-210, Vieweg, Wiesbaden 2006.
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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleni Kosta
    • 1
  • Martin Meints
    • 2
  • Marit Hansen
    • 2
  • Mark Gasson
    • 3
  1. 1.K.U.Leuven, Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICTLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Independent Centre for Privacy ProtectionKielGermany
  3. 3.Department of CyberneticsUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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