zen.org Communal Weblog

October 26, 2005

Every stranger could know your birthday…

Filed under: — brendan @ 01:40 IST

What’s to stop someone from creating a watch that beams a 3-foot radius looking for RFID goodies to tuck away for later?

From CNET’s news.com:

Passports to get RFID chip implants
October 25, 2005, 12:12 PM PDT

All U.S. passports will be implanted with remotely-readable computer chips starting in October 2006, the Bush administration has announced.

Sweeping new State Department regulations issued Tuesday say that passports issued after that time will have tiny radio frequency ID (RFID) chips that can transmit personal information including the name, nationality, sex, date of birth, place of birth and digitized photograph of the passport holder. Eventually, the government contemplates adding additional digitized data such as “fingerprints or iris scans.”

Over the last year, opposition to the idea of implanting RFID chips in passports has grown amidst worries that identity thieves could snatch personal information out of the air simply by aiming a high-powered antenna at a person or a vehicle carrying a passport. Out of the 2,335 comments on the plan that were received by the State Department this year, 98.5 percent were negative. The objections mostly focused on security and privacy concerns.


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