UK Gov’t Allows Mobile Photos for Renewing Passports

“Professionally-taken photos are still required for initial passport applications and for those pertaining to lost or stolen passports…”

The UK’s Home Office is now allowing citizens to renew their passports using pictures taken with mobile phones, reports The Telegraph.

UK Gov't Allows Mobile Photos for Renewing PassportsThe development emerges alongside another regulatory change relieving citizens of the need to provide signatures as part of the passport application process. Together, the changes suggest a tacit acknowledgment of the declining importance of traditional signatures as a means of authentication, and the growing importance of facial recognition as applied to digital pictures, since such technology is now sophisticated enough to process facial images from amateur smartphone photographs. Facial biometrics play an increasingly important role in the automated traveler screening systems now being deployed around the world.

Professionally-taken photos are still required for initial passport applications and for those pertaining to lost or stolen passports; and a provision mandating that passport photos be taken from a distance of 1.5 meters rules out the use of selfies for passport renewals.

Source: The Telegraph

January 25, 2017 – by Alex Perala