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RFID In Government Issued ID? 89

Posted by kdawson
from the your-RF-papers-please dept.
RFID! writes, "The Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee published a draft report that poured cold water on using RFID in government-mandated identity cards and documents (PDF link). But this met with some consternation among the DHS bureaus that plan to use RFID in this way and the businesses eager to sell the technology to the government, and now a vote on the report has been delayed until December."
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RFID In Government Issued ID?

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  • Ouch (Score:5, Informative)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:49PM (#16572320) Journal
    This report does more than just "pour cold water" on RFIDs

    From the Executive Summary:

    "There appear to be specific, narrowly defined situations in which RFID is appropriate for human identification. Miners or firefighters might be appropriately identified using RFID because speed of identification is at a premium in dangerous situations and the need to verify the connection between a card and bearer is low.

    But for other applications related to human beings, RFID appears to offer little benefit when compared to the consequences it brings for privacy and data integrity. Instead, it increases risks to personal privacy and security, with no commensurate benefit for performance or national security."

    "no commensurate benefit for national security"
    Translation: This will not protect you from the terrorists.
    And really, isn't that
    A) the big goal of all these changes?
    B) how everyone is justifying their budget?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 25, 2006 @01:35AM (#16573056)
    3. Someone can "invalidate" your passport remotely, by burning out the chip with high-powered RF. How do you convince the Homeland Security folks that you really DO have a valid passport, despite the fact that the "secure" chip is apparently missing?

    From the State Department E-Passport FAQ (http://travel.state.gov/passport/eppt/eppt_2788.h tml)

    "What will happen if my Electronic passport fails at a port-of-entry?

    The chip in the passport is just one of the many security features of the new passport. If the chip fails, the passport remains a valid travel document until its expiration date. The bearer will continue to processed by the port-of-entry officer as if he/she had a passport without a chip."
  • Other RFID stories right here [slashgeo.org]. And let's not forget RFID Passports in the USA a Reality Now [slashgeo.org]:
    "Following this previous story [slashgeo.org], we learn from the Washington Post RFID chips in US passports are now confirmed [washingtonpost.com]. From the article: "Passports will come with a shielded cover, making it much harder to read the chip when the passport is closed. And there are now access-control and encryption mechanisms, making it much harder for an unauthorized reader to collect, understand and alter the data. [...] The Colorado passport office is already issuing RFID passports, and the State Department expects all U.S. passport offices to be doing so by the end of the year.""

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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