Interpol to get US data on lost or stolen passports
Washington: The United States is joining several other countries in providing current information on issued passports reported lost or stolen to the Interpol’s lost and stolen document database which border authorities around the world are able to access.
According to the State Department, this programme will contribute substantially to worldwide travel document security and governments’ ability to impede the movement of terrorists and other criminals. US passports reported lost or stolen are immediately invalidated, added to an electronic database and are no longer valid for travel. To protect the original passport holder’s privacy, the name and biographical data from the passport is not to be given to Interpol, but only the passport number, type and the country where it was issued. During the processing of travellers at ports of entry, if a “hit” occurs against the Interpol database, it will be verified with US authorities before action is taken against the person presenting the passport. The State Department said, “We believe this is a significant step in the direction of curbing not only terrorism but also identity theft and other types of identity fraud. Travel document fraud, including the fraudulent application and use of the US passport, represents a serious and growing threat to our national security.” —Khalid Hasan