ePassport wins BSI Biometrics Award

19 October 2006

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has today awarded the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) with the BSI Biometrics 2006 Award for The Most Innovative Use of International Standards in Biometric Systems at the Biometrics 2006 conference held at the QEII Conference Centre in London.

The award was presented by BSI British Standards marketing director Frank Post to Home Office minister Joan Ryan for IPS’ use of biometrics in the new ePassport which uses biometric facial imagery as its main security feature. To date over two and a half million ePassports have been issued and the foundation has been set for expansion to the 2nd generation of ePassport which will contain both face and fingerprint identification to international ISO standards by 2009.

The BSI judges took into account the extent of the innovation, its use of international standards, the number of vendors co-operating in the application and the impact and importance of the project. The ePassport uses biometrics standards in its contact-less chip which contains electronically encoded data that can be verified and authenticated as genuine.

BSI's Frank Post said: “As the IPS has shown, biometrics standards can make a vital contribution to the increasingly important issue of personal and national security. The competition was of a high standard and BSI congratulates IPS on its effective utilisation of internationally agreed standards with the ePassport.”

Home Office Minister Joan Ryan said: "I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Identity and Passport Service.
"The introduction of the first UK biometric passport - the ePassport - has been a huge project, but careful planning and a gradual rollout have ensured a successful outcome. All this has been done at the same time as handling record levels of demand for passports and maintaining excellent levels of customer satisfaction.
"As of this month, all new British passports are ePassports. This confirms IPS' place at the forefront of the global move to enhance passport security through the use of biometric technology. In combination with other major anti-fraud projects being taken forward by IPS, this will deliver a step-change in our ability to combat passport fraud and forgery."