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RFID Passport Concerns Persist

Not long after my own observations on RFID passports were released on my site, Bruce Schneier of Counterpane Internet Security wrote a much more indepth article published in Wired online. Echoing my sentiment that the technology will be marching forward and that we must be mindful of the implications on our human rights, he goes on to examine the protections that are being implemented- there will be a security key required to access the data on the tag, which is read optically from the passport. The tag will be protected further from distant readings by incorporating metallic foil into the passport cover.

I actually find these measures somewhat reassuring, in spite of the RFID serial number collision-avoidance problem mentioned in the article. The State Department, while it did design the RFID implementation behind closed doors, seems to have responded to feedback from the public about the privacy issues surrounding RFID tags. Schneier is less optimistic, stating that the State Department is "already committed to a scheme before knowing if it even works or if it protects privacy." Perhaps they are committed to a plan, but the public voice can surely have further impact. Get involved in the discussion. Write to your local newspapers, call your congressmen, call talk radio, etc. The watchdogs among us probably feel as though the goverment and industries they observe are not listening- but I would like to call the public's attention to the NLP Presupposition "You can't NOT communicate" - in this case, the public's silence and apathy are a signal to "go ahead, we think it's okay"

Posted on November 4, 2005 | Permalink | Tag this post with del.icio.us | This Post Now Lives Here


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