Electronic travel documents have made border crossings more secure and more efficient. A recent trend, which adds RAIN RFID technology to “trusted traveler” documents and makes them readable over a much longer range, reduces wait times for a better experience. In the latest extension to this proven technology, AES cryptography adds high-level security to the long range functionality, so even ePassports can take advantage of it.
In the past decade, border-crossing agencies around the world have changed how they operate. They have transitioned to electronic, machine-readable versions of travel documents, which offer much better protection against fraud and are faster to process.
Border crossings benefit from two things – security and speed – and electronic passports deliver both. In terms of security, the chip-level security mechanisms designed into the contactless ePassport make it significantly harder to steal, copy or fake an official travel document and that helps reduce fraud.
Other IDs, for example national electronic ID cards or electronic driver’s licenses, are going contactless too. They are building on the momentum created by ePassports and are adopting the contactless format in order to benefit from secure chip-based solutions.
Despite the improvements in processing time that ePassports and other electronic travel documents have brought to border crossings, travelers can still find themselves waiting in lines and border-control staff can still struggle to meet the need for personnel to focus on security-relevant tasks.
Better Border Crossing Experiences
With secure RAIN RFID technology designed into travel documents and border-crossing infrastructures, checkpoints can process more people in a shorter amount of time, while not having to sacrifice security. Presenting the travel document to the reader is more convenient, since the traveler can be positioned farther away and still get an accurate read. There’s less fiddling, to make sure the document is positioned correctly and there are fewer retries which are usually caused by errors in the way the document is presented.
But this is not the only benefit that secure RAIN RFID brings, because also, more than one document can be read at once. With a family, for example, one person can present everyone’s documents for group processing.
Privacy Protection Of Travelers Despite Long Read Ranges
NXP’s implementation of secure RAIN RFID, called UCODE DNA, was among the first to offer RAIN RFID ICs with high-level security based on international standards. Along with high speed, accuracy and read range, the UCODE DNA chip includes special features for protecting privacy and thus, can be designed into ePassports and other contactless travel documents for fast, yet secure, processing and clearance at border crossings.