Thursday, April 07, 2005

RFID: Passport to Identity Theft?

The U.S. State Department recently published an Electronic Passports proposal. According to Jim Harper of, "The State Department intends to start issuing RFID-chipped passports, with unencrypted personal information on the chips, later this year."

Unencrypted personal information. Why? Because even though encrypted data is more secure, it takes longer to read. The U.S. State Department is willing to sacrifice security -- of your personal information -- for facility.

We are past the point of debating whether or not RFID is encroaching into our personal lives. It is. We are past the point of debating whether or not RFID represents significant potential loss of personal privacy. It does. And it is not going away.

Sadly, we seem to be resigned to debating degrees of security.

Are you going to do, or just be done to?

Privacilla's comments on the U.S. State Departments Electronic Passports proposal can be found at: is an innovative Web site that captures "privacy" as a public policy issue. Privacilla has been described as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank."

Sally Bacchetta - Freelance Writer


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