For those of you who don't know (and I am sure most of you do) Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
If you drop a piece of buttered bread, it always falls butter side down, UNLESS you deliberately drop it to prove Murphy's Law, in which it won't!
The US is about to bring in chipped passports that BROADCAST (on command) an individual's name, address and digital photo to a computerized reader.
Identity theft is the fastest rising white collar crime in the UK. I expect that the USA also suffers from it. How long do you think it will take criminals to get hold of a reader to snatch your identity as pass through an airport?
New U.S. passports will soon be read remotely at borders around the world, thanks to embedded chips that will broadcast on command an individual's name, address and digital photo to a computerized reader.
The State Department hopes the addition of the chips, which employ radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology, will make passports more secure and harder to forge, according to spokeswoman Kelly Shannon.
"The reason we are doing this is that it simply makes passports more secure," Shannon said. "It's yet another layer beyond the security features we currently use to ensure the bearer is the person who was issued the passport originally."
But civil libertarians and some technologists say the chips are actually a boon to identity thieves, stalkers and commercial data collectors, since anyone with the proper reader can download a person's biographical information and photo from several feet away.
"Even if they wanted to store this info in a chip, why have a chip that can be read remotely?" asked Barry Steinhardt, who directs the American Civil Liberty Union's Technology and Liberty program. "Why not require the passport be brought in contact with a reader so that the passport holder would know it had been captured? Americans in the know will be wrapping their passports in aluminum foil."
The RFID passport works like a high-tech version of the children's game "Marco Polo." A reader speaks out the equivalent of "Marco" on a designated frequency. The chip then channels that radio energy and echoes back with an answer.
But instead of simply saying "Polo," the 64 Kb chip will say the passport holder's name, address, date and place of birth, and send along a digital photograph.
There's more info if you click the link. I only pasted the first few paragraphs.
Sounds like a business opportunity if I've ever heard of one. Lead-lined passport holders?
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