US RFID passports now a reality
October 26, 2004
New U.S. passports will soon be read remotely at borders around the world, thanks to embedded chips that will broadcast on command an individual's name, address and digital photo to a computerized reader.The unencrypted biometric data is certainly comprehensive enough: photo (in JPEG2000 format), name, sex, date of birth, passport# etc (according to ICAOpack information)
The State Department hopes the addition of the chips, which employ radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology, will make passports more secure and harder to forge, according to spokeswoman Kelly Shannon.
But civil libertarians and some technologists say the chips are actually a boon to identity thieves, stalkers and commercial data collectors, since anyone with the proper reader can download a person's biographical information and photo from several feet away.
- ICAO: Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) specifications
- US Government RFP for electronic passports
- Anita Campbell: on the political slant in the RFID passport discussions
- Bruce Schneier: RFID Passports
Posted by andersja