INTERPOL eyes biometric IDs for international workers and travelers

The world today is heavily interconnected. Every day, millions of people cross into a different country for work or vacation.

Document verification when entering a new country can be an arduous, time- consuming affair given the fact that different states have their own unique identification documents.

That is why the INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble, recently called for the formulation of an electronic, universally-acceptable means of identification to be used by international travelers and workers.

Noble believes INTERPOL is the best placed global organization to oversee such a system – given that it already helps its member countries to screen the documents of international air travelers at least 1.5 billion times each year.


Such an electronic ID would ensure that a traveller can be identified in different countries using the same identification document. 

Participating countries would be tasked with issuing electronic residence and work permits that conform to a single universal standard. 

According to INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble, the envisioned system could help increase overall efficiency, shore up global security and reduce opportunities for corruption.


Though the format and content of an international electronic ID has not been fully discussed or agreed upon, the card would likely include biometric data of an individual, including DNA and fingerprints that would also be uploaded to a global database.

“The vast majority of migrant [workers] are law-abiding citizens who would like to have their identities verified in more than one country using the same identity document,” Noble explained.

“If countries were to issue work and residence permits in an e-ID format that satisfied common standards internationally, then both the migrant workers and the countries themselves would benefit because efficiencies would improve, security at the national and global level would improve and corruption would be reduced.”

[Via Net Security]