Crowded airport security line

What It Means When Your Passport Has A Small Camera Symbol

By Amanda Finn


If a camera-like icon appears on the front of your passport, you have a biometric or e-Passport. These passports contain a microchip that security personnel at airports can read.
These microchips include information like your name and birthday, as well as data to accurately identify you by your fingerprints and retinal scans.
According to the U.S. State Department, "The use of fingerprints has many benefits. We reduce the use of stolen and counterfeit visas. We protect against entry by terrorists."
Without the need for a TSA agent to scan your face, security lines at airports can run smoother. These biometric passports also make border control simpler.
Passengers can still opt out of an e-Passport for a traditional ID check. For travelers who do use biometric scanning, the TSA assures everyone that this data is highly protected.