e passports

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by robert novak, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. robert novak

    robert novak Newbie

    Apr 11, 2007
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    just wandering what information is stored in the new e passports? I was originally told chip in the centre just has the information that was displayed at front of passport, but I read a US govt site which said that it contained information about individuals that the us may not want to enter the country, is this terrorism related (shouldn't be allowed on plane then), criminal records, medical records, religion, what about privacy laws?
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    I understand it would be possible to include any details in the chip. But my understanding is that the Australian e-Passport just contain the info located inside the passport. The application form for an Australian Passport does not seek any information about religion or medical records, so I don't see how they could obtain such details without your express permission.

    The purpose of the chip in the e-Passport (according to the Australian government :rolleyes: ) is to make the passport more tamper-resistant.
     
  3. serfty

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    See here: The Australian ePassport for Australian ePassports.

     
  4. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    But that electronic infomation then makes it faster to check against criminal databases etc.

    Do they store the photo digitally for the smart gates ?
    Would have also thought it would have been good to have finger prints and option for the US immigration.
    Then you could semi automate the procedure.

    I got my brand new freq traveler e passport last week and used it for the first time this week, you know what, it seems all the same as the old one.

    Odd thing was i asked the departing imigration officer to stamp it on the way out (first entry in new passport, see all the threads on US over stay visa's for why) and he stamped page 17 ?? wouldn't you choose page 1 ?

    Evan
     
  5. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    My passport has stamps all over the place. The first time I ever used the passport it was stamped on page 32. I think they just open the passport and stampe whatever page they open.
     
  6. serfty

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    Guess so, and what's the problem?
    As per the web page I linked to above, yes!
    Perhaps our digitalized mug shots are a lot harder to 'forge' than finger prints.
    Hmm ... Mrs serfty used her ePassport on Monday to avoid the queues in SYD. I'm still avoiding queues in SYD and MEL using Smart gate.

    On Monday morning, we arrived into SYD from HKG. There were several hundred incoming PAX in the immigration arrivals hall; including the Duty Free Express lane.

    Myself and Mrs serfty, her armed with her 6 month old ePassport simply walked down to the indicated lanes on the left; had our mugs scanned and walked though. This took about 30 seconds and probably saved us at least 10 minutes in getting to the baggage hall.
     
  7. NM

    NM
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    I made my first trip using my new e-Passport recently. I still carried my old PP with me just in case. I was asked for it at KUL when departing. The immigration officer flicked through it and handed it back to me. I suspect that because I have ticked the box that indicated this was not my first visit to Malaysia, he was looking to find any previous Visas, work permits etc (which I don't have for Malaysia).

    I am not sure what his response would have been if I had not carried the old passport with me.
     
  8. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    serfty,
    No problem at all with checking against databases, simply commenting the advantage of the chip is that the infomation should be able to compared to the database faster than the older passports where the data needs to be read first by the scanner and converted.
    Blind and stupid i am today, should have read the quote twice, wonder what res the photo is, it can't be that good given it only must be a scan of the photo you provide on your renewal.

    NM,
    Yep, like you i have a brand new passport this week and carried my old one atleast for a while to handle exactly that situation.
    Get to use the new features on return in a couple of days.

    E
     
  9. turbo

    turbo Intern

    Mar 5, 2007
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    Does anyone knows whether your occupation is stored electronically on your passport? i am pretty sure they are for govt official passports if you have one but curious whether they are on your personal one.

    I have heard stories of ppl receiving specific welcomes to US after scanning indicating that they knew what your job was within a govt dept.
     
  10. NM

    NM
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    No, it is not stored on the passport. Serfty has provided the link and list of what is stored. It is just what is included in writing in the identification page in the passport.
     
  11. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    The intention here is to make the passports more tamper resistant. The information that is stored on the chip is digitally signed (you'll see reference to PKI in the gov docs). The information on the chip can't be changed without breaking the digital signature, the government holds a private key that can be used to sign the info and hands out a public key to everyone, which can be used to verify the signature.

    So now, if someone is to steal a passport and tamper with it (such as changing the picture) it will do them no good as the info on the chip won't match what's on the paper, and they can't change the info on the chip because they can't get the new info signed.

    The Gov site links to an article on Public Key Infrastructure, but to get a better idea you're probably better off reading this article (just the summary unless you're really interested in complex math)
    Public-key cryptography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
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    I was there last week with my new passport with my old one sitting at home in the desk. KUL is probably my most frequented country and I had no problem in being processed quickly.
     
  13. maninblack

    maninblack Established Member

    Aug 14, 2006
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    This is all interesting reading. I recently got my new e-passport. The digitised photo with little kangaroos jumping through it is so bad that you can barely see it's me...I was amazed as the original photo supplied was very good quality. I took the e-passport to the passports office and they checked it over again and declared it A-OK...passes all requirements.

    Strange, even though the photo is stored in the chip as well, not all OS passport controls have the ability to read it yet. You would think that a high quality photo would still be important but apparently not.

    Most of us would not think to carry our old passport, given the MRZ will have been cut off, rendering it kind of useless. Why would an immigration officer even suspect that you would be carrying an expired one and ask to see it? I also thought that when the MRZ is scanned at an entry point it records the entry/departure details on the immigration computer system and the MRZ in your new passport will link to the records of your old one.
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    I was asked if I had it and I said yes, he then asked to see it. I can only guess why, and my guess is as I posted previously to see if I had any Malaysian work permits or entry visas. But that is purely just a guess and he may have had any number of reasons. The inspection was quick and by no means thorough. Perhaps he was looking to see if I had ever been denied access to Malaysia? This happened upon leaving the country and not upon entry.
    It may be the case that the Australian Department of Immigration computer can link the old and new passports, but I would not expect another country to know anything about the link between my old and new passports. As far as Malaysia was concerned, that was the first time their system had seen my new passport and unless they data matched my name, DOB etc, its unlikely they would have known of my previous visits if I had not indicated so on the entry/exit form.
     
  15. maninblack

    maninblack Established Member

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    Is the quality of the digitised photo in your new passport relatively poor? (like, worse than your old one)
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Yes, the new seems to show my with more grey hair than the previous one. But it is still very obviously me.
     
  17. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    Be thankful you have hair!
     
  18. opusman

    opusman Senior Member

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    My latest UK passport also has very weird photo quality, even though the photo I supplied to them was fine. It's all red and blotchy, but when I asked the passport guy last time I entered the UK he said it was fine.

    Due for a new AUS passport next year so I'll see if that comes out the same. Maybe it's all for security reasons (photos in fake passports would look TOO good!)
     
  19. serfty

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    #19 serfty, Oct 9, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2007
    Back in 1998 on my previuos PP renewal, the supplied images were fine; but when the PP arrived my face was as red as a young "Geronimo"'s.

    I had about two weeks before I needed it and took it to the PP office in Melbourne CBD.

    The guy I spoke to had a good laugh at the color andasked me to wait.. Not 3 minutes later he came back with a brand new PP - hot off the press. This time with an image of me more in line with reality.

    Total time in building - about ¼ hour. I was quite surprised at how easy it was to get a new one. Of course, this was before the new technologies were introduced.
     
  20. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

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    I find that customs officers overseas try to stamp the passport sequentially from the front pages. The Australian customs officials could not care less where they stamp the passport so these days I hand the passport back asking for a stamp on the page I want them to stamp it.
     
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