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Where a country does not recognise another, or is in dispute with it, it may prohibit the use of their passport for travel to that other country, or may prohibit entry to holders of that other country's passports, and sometimes to others who have, for example, visited the other country.Some countries and international organisations issue travel documents which are not standard passports, but enable the holder to travel internationally to countries that recognise the documents.This enables border controllers and other law enforcement agents to process these passports more quickly, without having to input the information manually into a computer.ICAO publishes Doc 9303 Machine Readable Travel Documents, the technical standard for machine-readable passports. These contain biometrics to authenticate the identity of travellers.The passport's critical information is stored on a tiny RFID computer chip, much like information stored on smartcards.Like some smartcards, the passport booklet design calls for an embedded contactless chip that is able to hold digital signature data to ensure the integrity of the passport and the biometric data.
King Henry V of England is credited with having invented what some consider the first true passport, as a means of helping his subjects prove who they were in foreign lands.
The speed of trains, as well as the number of passengers that crossed multiple borders, made enforcement of passport laws difficult.
The general reaction was the relaxation of passport requirements.
In the later part of the nineteenth century and up to World War I, passports were not required, on the whole, for travel within Europe, and crossing a border was a relatively straightforward procedure.
Consequently, comparatively few people held passports. During World War I, European governments introduced border passport requirements for security reasons, and to control the emigration of people with useful skills.