Future US Passports will have an RFID chip embedded. There’s a new website dedicated to building consumer awareness around the potential risks associated with this. While I think whomever is running this website is likely a tad paranoid, I can’t say that I don’t think the potential consequences and concerns expressed below are that far fetched — and that we likely need to think things through a bit more. I do believe there are some very real potential risks associated with the system as proposed. Here’s an exerp from their website:
“In a misguided attempt to make US passports more secure, the US Department of State plans to put radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in all new passports. This RFID chip will contain the same information currently on our passports, including the passport holder’s name, date and place of birth, passport number and photograph.
In a dangerous world where Americans are targeted by thieves, kidnappers and terrorists, the RFID-chipped US passport will turn tourists into targets, and American business travelers will transmit their identities to kidnappers wherever they go, thanks to the US State Department.
Close up, the information broadcast from the RFID chip can be read by anyone with an inexpensive electronic reader. Farther away, the RFID chip can be activated enough to identify the passport holder as an American.
From identity theft to identity death, an RFID-chipped US passport means good news for the bad guys.”