The government has abandoned its plan to add the fingerprints of new applicants to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) in the e-passports that are about to be introduced.
Minister of Information and Telecommunications Melford Nicholas made the announcement during the weekly post-Cabinet briefing yesterday.
The minister said that although discussions were being held with a view to include fingerprints in the e-passports of new applicants to the programme, this will no longer be the case.
“I think the intention is that we have fingerprints as a reference, not for any particular investigation, but whereas we thought in the past we would have a look at [having] the fingerprint embedded in the microchip, we were advised against that,” he said.
Nicholas added the reason for the plan being discontinued was because the company assisting with the rollout of the e-passport, the Canadian Bank Note (CBN), felt that doing so could present security issues.
“We could not find a particular way of ensuring that those fingerprints could not be lifted electronically off of the microchip when they got into another jurisdiction, and the concern was for the security and privacy of the citizen,” the minister said.
He revealed, however, that a database of fingerprints for CIP passport holders will be created.
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