Why does the passport continue to be a paper booklet?


In an ideal world, a passport would work like a bank account that comes with a plastic card and can be managed online. How will that help? Well, for starters this will mean that losing your passport will not be a life changing event. If you do lose it, u could simply go online, block the card and order a replacement. Also, you will never run out of pages and rather than assuming that we all have a super human ability to memorize dates, you could get automatic alerts if the validity of your passport or visas is expiring. Hold on! before you trash this as elitist thinking, I’m not suggesting that the digital version of the passport be made mandatory, that won’t work for people who don’t have computer and internet access but it should definitely be offered as a choice to those who would prefer to switch to a digital version. Needless to say that this change to digital would require international consensus and collaboration and an extremely robust security infrastructure to prevent any online passport fraud. (By the way, the paper booklet is as vulnerable to fraud if not more). Bottom line, I think its time to port the passport out of the stone age. Change is never easy but i think the advantages far outweigh the concerns.


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