Could current biometric passport holders be forced to add finger prints, iris scans etc to their passports in the future?
Yes, the Home Office intend to do so. They are likely to start adding fingerprints when they decide that they have succeeded (or must claim to have succeeded) in their deployment of passports containing facial biometrics. Irises are likely to follow. However, there are no legal barriers to them attempting this as soon as they believe they are able.
The Passport Service’s website says that they’re considering adding other biometrics to future generations of biometric passports – does this mean that it isn’t technically possible to add fingerprints, etc to current biometric passports?
No, these biometrics could be added now. However, there are logistical difficulties in collecting fingerprints and iris scans from all passport applicants. This is where their plans for compulsory registration on the National Identity Register enter the picture.
Also how strict are the Passport Service about getting your renewal application countersigned if your appearance changes and about following the photo guidelines?
I don't know, but I don't recall hearing anyone complaining that they are overly strict.
Do your photos now have to be perfect to be accepted or are you given some leeway from the published guidelines?
Yes, they must be perfect. The immature and unreliable capture technology cannot cope with anything outside strictly defined parameters so they are rejecting tens of thousands of photos: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4594674.stm
. Of course, the fact that a photo meets the criteria is no guarantee that it accurately represents anyone's face. I don't see how they could detect subtle distortions introduced to digital photos.