Friday, October 28, 2005

There was something in the air that night, RFID blight, your info*

Starting in October of next year, U.S. passports will contain an RFID chip that encodes all of the passport information and a digital photograph. An RFID (radio frequency identification) chip broadcasts information in response to a radio signal. Anyone with the appropriate equipment can instantly harvest all the data from a passport, such as name, address, social security number, etc.

Apart from the glaringly obvious, there are many other problems associated with the new passport requirements outlined in a public letter from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to the Office of Passport Policy (pdf). At a time when multiple government agencies are illegally and clandestinely spying on US citizens, the idea of the government being more easily able to track people is a chilling one.

*With apologies to ABBA

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