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Iris Scans

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether iris scans are to be included in passport chips; and if he will make a statement. (111276)

The e-Passport, which was introduced in 2006, contains an embedded chip which holds data on the bearer in line with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) recommendations. At present this data is limited to biographical data such as name, date of birth etc. and a digital photograph of the passport holder. In the future, in line with other European countries, we plan to include images of two of the passport holder’s fingerprints but we have no plans to store images of the passport holder’s irises on the passport chip.