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Word of the Month - MRTD

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) based in Montreal, will host a seminar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in April about Machine Readable Travel Documents, Biometrics and Border Security.

An MRTD is a Machine Readable Travel Document.  It seems that as time goes on we will have more and more specific information in our travel documents regarding and we can probably expect increasing amounts of information being transferred between countries, especially data that proves who we are.

Your Canadian passport is about to join those documents that have chip. Beginning later in 2012, new passports will carry a duplicate of all the information you can read on Page 2 of your passport, including your photograph, which will be machine readable whenever your passport is within 10cm of a reader and when the passport is open. You will be able to identify those passports because they will have a special, internationally recognized logo on the front.

The designers seem to have gone overboard to ensure that the electronic information cannot be read sneakily. The passport must actually have been opened and scanned manually before the electronic information is accessible to the ePassport reader.

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