The European Union is aiming to tighten up security and have approved new laws establishing a uniform identity card format across all member states. Member States will be required to issue the new biometric ID cards in the next two years.
The new ID cards, aimed at cutting down on forgeries, will mean that new ID cards across the EU will in the future need to include secure contactless chips along with a photo of the holder and a fingerprint.
The EU released figures showing that around 80 million Europeans use ID cards that don’t have the possibility to be read by a machine and don’t have biometric identifiers. In the meantime, holders of ID cards that don’t conform to the new higher standards will have to be replace these within five or 10 years, depending on their security level with the exception of ID card holders over 70 years of age.
“In the future, all ID cards and residence documents issued in the EU should have the same minimum security standards. This will help us detect and prevent terrorists and criminals from using forged ID cards and from crossing our borders, whilst safeguarding the rights and freedoms of our citizens, including their mobility,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.