U.K. to issue biometric passports worldwide

The British government will equip its embassies and consulates with gear to issue biometric passports.

Steve Ranger
Steve Ranger UK editor-in-chief, TechRepublic and ZDNet
Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic. An award-winning journalist, Steve writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture, and regularly appears on TV and radio discussing tech issues. Previously he was the editor of silicon.com.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is spending 5 million pounds (about $8.7 million) to equip its embassies and consulates around the world with the technology to issue biometric passports. Biometric technology aims to prevent multiple passports from being issued to the same person under different identities.

One in 10 British passports is issued overseas, and the new Web-based Identity Document Issuance System aims to make sure these passports are as secure as those issued at home by the U.K. Passport Office, which is in the midst of a move to biometric passports. Technology company 3M will install new passport issuance systems that can identify biometric information at 104 embassies, consulates and high commissions.

Steve Ranger of Silicon.com reported from London. For the full story, click here.