Tuesday, October 25, 2005

U.S. Passports to get RFID chip implants

This seems like a good time to mention (again) RFIDKills.com.

Declan McCullagh writes in C|Net News:

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 date 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 on them out of the air simply by aiming a high-powered antenna at a person or a vehicle. Out of the 2,335 comments on the plan the State Department received this year, 98.5 percent were negative. The objections mostly focused on security and privacy concerns.

But the Bush administration chose to go ahead with embedding 64KB chips in future passports, citing a desire to abide by "globally interoperable" standards devised by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency. Other nations, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, have announced similar plans.


Post a Comment

<< Home