Passports To Get RFIDs After All… But Hopefully Shielded

from the compromises dept

The State Department released a plan earlier this year to put unencrypted, unprotected RFID chips in passports, believing naively that no one else would be interested in scanning data from those chips. After quite an uproar, the State Department agreed to rethink that plan — and have now come out with a renewed plan that seems much more reasonable, though not perfect. They’re going to include some shielding technology on the outside of the passport so that it will be nearly impossible to read the data from the passport while it’s closed, along with “Basic Access Control” that gives the passport holder the ability to decide when and how to let the data out. While some complain that Basic Access Control is still unproven, this actually does seem like a reasonable compromise that helps provide the benefits of using RFIDs without the privacy risks associated with the original plan. Once again, while there is the potential for RFIDs to be misused, the real answer is to work on technological solutions to help make those misuses much more difficult, while still allowing the benefits.

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Comments on “Passports To Get RFIDs After All… But Hopefully Shielded”

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Ivan Sick says:

another useless technology

I haven’t yet seen a use for RFID tags that couldn’t be handled just as capably with bar codes.
RFID is a good idea for theft prevention/recovery, on the consumer side, and maybe for shopping carts too. But with a top-down distribution, what is the advantage (besides tracking–which is probably far more bad than good)?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Use a non broadcast method.

The problem with RFID is that if theives have a RFID reader nearby when I am asked to open my password then thieves get the data too.

[In 5 years might we assume that we will be asked for this instead of a drivers licence as ID!?]

Gee! This sounds like the Credit Card ID theft problem all over again. (where swiping the card twice gotthe data!) BUT with RFID
you can have a passive sniffer.

A better idea might be a shielded IRed link so
only one person can read the info.

Ben McNelly (user link) says:

No Subject Given

Now this could help on security and cutting down on falsified or forged documents, but I am sure it will not be hard for terrorist to hack these and of course if your just scanning one, then your printing of the forgery will not need be as acurate… Swipe, beep, done. Who is going to argue with the scanner? Is that helping security???

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