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Airport To Tag Passengers With RFID 262

denebian devil writes "A new technology is to be trialled in Debrecen Airport in Hungary that will involve tagging all passengers with high-powered RFID tags. From the Register article: 'People will be told to wear radio tags round their necks when they get to the airport. The tag would notify a computer system of their identity and whereabouts. The system would then track their activities in the airport using a network of high definition cameras. "[The tags] have got a long range, of 10m to 20m," said Dr. Paul Brennan of University College London's antennas and radar group which developed the tags, "and the system has been designed so the tag can be located to within a meter, and it can locate thousands of tags in one area at a given time."' The system is being touted for 'Improving airport efficiency, security and passenger flow by enhanced passenger monitoring.' BBC is also reporting this story, and brings up such hurdles to the project as 'finding a way of ensuring the tags cannot be switched between passengers or removed without notification.' As for any mention of the 'hurdle' of people's rights, the article vaguely and briefly states that 'The issue of infringement of civil liberties will also be key,' but doesn't bother to go into any pesky details."
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Airport To Tag Passengers With RFID

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  • by Robaato (958471) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @07:53AM (#16435113)
    Okay, so they can keep close tabs on you in the airport. Yet, if you were intent on doing mischief, wouldn't you have done all your preparation before you even got there?
  • Re:Dog collars. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rachel Lucid (964267) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @08:01AM (#16435157) Homepage Journal
    With or without exploding goodness?


    ... shouldn't 'non-switchy-ness' be enforced via having to turn in 'your' tags at the flight gate? After all, what would be the point of enforcing non-switching anyway when you basically ensure that each person has to get one and turn one in, except to infringe on their rights?

    ... like we're not doing that to BEGIN with...

  • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @08:11AM (#16435215)
    I thought RFID tags were passive devices. How do you make a "high powered" passive device? I guess you can increase the power of the scanners, but the tags themselves are the same no?
  • Re:A matter of trust (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @08:31AM (#16435283) Homepage Journal
    You, sir! You're under arrest for performing a suicide bombing!

    But...but...I'm still alive!

    Tell that to the court! We have solid evidence that you were involved in the bombing; your tag was found at the explosion site!

    My tag? My tag! Where's my tag? It's been stolen!

    Enough of that! We have it on record: you were in the middle of the explosion when it happened. You can object all you want, but everybody knows that computers don't make mistakes. You're guilty and you know it!
  • by MrNaz (730548) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @09:06AM (#16435409) Homepage
    If you told a frequent flier 20 years ago about today's security procedures he would tell you that it was unlivable. Governmnets have realized that to seize control of society, you do it so slowly that nobody notices. You, my friend, don't seem to be noticing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 14, 2006 @09:28AM (#16435497)
    When you leave your home, you may be monitored. /.../ That's the game. Play, or stay home.

    It is truly terrifying to see how low the american people has fallen and lost all sense of privacy.

    You are spoon-fed slogans like the "land of the free" but in reality you live in one of the most oppressive societies in human history where every movement you make is being tracked and registered by the authorities - and amazingly you're proud of it!

  • Re:Dog collars. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wannabgeek (323414) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:19AM (#16435819) Journal
    you got modded funny, but you should be modded insightful. If a guy wants to go to some restricted area to do any mischief, he would not be wearing his dog collar. He would conveniently slip it onto someone else or make an accomplice carry two tags (one inside and one his own) while he slips into the secure area. I am not really sure what they are planning to accomplish by watching the dots.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:24AM (#16436363)
    When you leave your home, you may be monitored. In the old days, it was by a plainsclothes detective popping stay-awake pills and eating doughnuts in his car parked across the street. In modern times, it is through camera surveillance and RFID.

    I'm no fucking not-a-suicide-pact posner [amazon.com] but in my opinion when the 'monitoring' goes from the guys with the donuts to the billion-dollar government contracts for systemic automated surveillance the government has already overstepped the bounds of what constitutes a reasonable search and is in violation of the 4th Amendement.
  • At this point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Monoliath (738369) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @01:14PM (#16437265)
    ...I'm willing to use more inconvenient and lengthy modes of travel to avoid such a ridiculously dehumanizing practice such as this. If I am in need of travel to the USA from another country and the given airport employs this method, I will travel by boat and adjust my schedule as needed. If I am in need of travel within the USA and the given airport/s employ this method, I will travel by bus. I will not accept this kind of treatment from any organization for simply for the sake of safer / lower risk travel. I would much rather just die in a hijacked plane crash, or a boat sinking, or a train derailing, than be treated like a tagged animal. I was quite happy with the level of risk involved with flying prior to this kind of nonsense.
  • Re:Dog collars. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mstahl (701501) <marrrrrk@gmailQUOTE.com minus punct> on Saturday October 14, 2006 @03:12PM (#16438159) Homepage Journal

    My suspicion is that they would want to watch the dots to determine how to most efficiently move people through the airport or otherwise study their movements. Were this the case, however, the tags would be anonymous. Either way, it's a problem that is not most effectively solved by RFID tags.

    Realistically, what is this going to do for any purpose whatsoever? It saddens me to know that air travel is going to be a fairly annoying if not downright humiliating process for a long time to come....

  • Re:Security? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crucini (98210) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:59PM (#16440913)
    Mostly insightful. But:
    Of course any real terrorist will make sure that he (or she) acts as normal as possible.
    This is the classic geek mistake when examining security - to assume it's a logic puzzle or chessboard. In the real world, if you can place an obstacle in your adversary's path, you gain an advantage. Of course he will probably go around it, but it gives him an additional burden and an additional chance to make a mistake.

    There are probably thousands of variations on an airplane terrorist attack, each adapted to the visible security measures. The simpler variations have less complexity to break, but are easily stopped by the first security measures. A rational attacker would tend to choose the simplest workable plan. As the defender adds obstacles, the attacker has to add risky complexity to his plan.

    I imagine that a geek would see a soldier digging a foxhole and tell him it's pointless - the enemy will just shoot him when he pokes his head up.

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