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Open-Mouthed Smiles Forbidden On UK's E-Passports   Logged in as: Guest
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Open-Mouthed Smiles Forbidden On UK's E-Passports - 8/6/2004 1:33:16 PM   

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The fight against terrorism has wiped the smile off the face of British passport holders.

The U.K. Passport Service said Friday it will forbid open-mouthed smiles on passport pictures, one of several rules introduced to comply with strict new U.S. standards. Smiles are forbidden--along with sunglasses and hair slanting across the eyes--because they may confuse security cameras used to scan faces and to verify the passport is authentic.

"These new guidelines are an important step in the development of the new biometric e-passport and use of facial recognition technology that will be introduced in 2005 as part of the ongoing fight against fraud and international terrorism," U.K. Passport Service Chief Executive Bernard Herdan said in a statement.

The photo requirement now states that passport pictures must show a person's full face looking straight at the camera, with a neutral expression and with a closed mouth.

New British passports will also be fitted with a chip containing the facial image and other data, high-tech measures introduced to help stamp out passport fraud.

The passport agency has been conducting trials to test the use of IDs that incorporate biometric information, including facial recognition data and iris scans.

Source : Reuters
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