Identity Cards

Home Department written question – answered on 9th February 2005.

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Photo of Mark Oaten Mark Oaten Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Home Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) biometric passports and (b) identity cards will contain (i) radio frequency identification chips and (ii) contactless integrated circuits.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

The biometric passport will contain a radio frequency contactless integrated circuit that conforms to ISO 14443 in accordance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) recommendations on biometric travel documents. It will be a close proximity-type chip that can only work within 0–2 cm of a reader.

No decision has yet been made on whether the ID Card will contain a chip capable of being read through a contactless interface. Work is progressing on developing the technical, interoperability, security and business requirements which influence this decision.

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