US RFID passports now a reality

October 26, 2004

Wired reports that the previously delayed American Passports are now to get RFID chips:

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 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.

The unencrypted biometric data is certainly comprehensive enough: photo (in JPEG2000 format), name, sex, date of birth, passport# etc (according to ICAOpack information)

More information:

Posted by andersja

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