Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, while responding to questions raised by MPs in the Lower House, said that the purpose of issuing such an electronic passport is to make travel easier and smoother, and also to ensure better passport data security. incumbent.
“The data will be put into a chip through a process of personalization and it will require a specialized printer to print it. There will be digital keys that will ensure the safety and security of the data like digital signatures. In this way there will be multiple layers of security,” Jaishankar said in response to questions about ePassport data security.
Thiruvananthapuram Congress MP Shashi Tharoor raised the issue in Parliament, asking the government to clarify the cybersecurity related to the e-passport saying that it would be dangerous to issue such a thing without any prior checks. Tharoor said that in this way data can be stolen by international gangs, marketing companies, other groups or even terrorist groups.
“There are studies worldwide that indicate these types of RFID can be skimmed. Terrorist groups, marketing companies, anyone can do it with the help of the right technology. So our concern is: are we going to expose our citizens to greater danger?if the chip is skimmed, vital citizen information may fall into the hands of others Passport is an essential document but you need to give it to a number of places so what kind of security measures can be taken to ensure the security of our citizens’ data,” said Tharoor.
Another Congressman, MK Raghavan, during Question Time, asked, “What steps have been taken to ensure the data security of Indian citizens, who are going to use chip-enabled e-passports. If it is not a violation of the right to privacy.”
About 4.5 crores of chips for such RFID and biometrics based passport will be ordered soon. The government will probably start issuing electronic passports within the next six months.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently announced the budgetary provision in the Union-22 budget for electronic passport with RFID and biometrics.