As of July 1st, all new Canadian passports will now come with a small embedded chip and a digital version of the passport photo. The chip contains personal information typed on page 2. The chip has been added for extra security and is hoped to prevent forgeries; a machine reads the chip and authenticates the information typed on page 2.
The chip, although new to Canada, has been issued to 100 other countries. Passport Canada has not reported any major problems since the global introduction of the e-passport. Canadian e-passports can be purchased with expiry dates after 10 years, or at a cheaper cost for 5 years. Children under 16 will receive passports valid for 5 years. Any remaining non-chip passports will remain valid until their expiry date.
This article was adapted from the Globe and Mail Article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/travel-news/epassports-more-secure-and-valid-longer/article13016449/.