Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Another Crack in the RFID Armor

Allan Holmes writes on GovExec:

More criticism of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology comes today in an article posted by EETimes, the electronics industry's newspaper. The article takes the Homeland Security Department to task for using RFID technology for its Pass Card, which people crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders will eventually use as outlined under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Readers will be able to read the card up to 30 feet away.

"DHS plans to offer 'privacy protection' by placing a unique ID number on the card and using the number to retrieve personal information (a photograph and demographic information) from a central database when the card is used at a border crossing," according to the article. "This effectively means that Pass Card holders' identification number can be stolen from a distance with relative ease. A stolen ID number can be programmed on a blank chip or programmed in an RFID reader, with the reader then acting like a chip by spitting out the false ID number."

At least one government agency, the U.S. Army, seems to be having second thoughts about the value RFID, as Government Executive's Bob Brewin reported last week.

More here.


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