<quote>Except that as you said, the chip is passive, and completely unpowered, so the scanner emits a signal enough to power up an integrated fucking circuit <b>and</b> make it transmit back. Microwave ovens should be closed for a reason.
Oh, you thought the chip itself was harmful?</quote>
Who mentioned microwaves? RFID isn't a microwave technology, it's a radio technology. Hence the frickin name.
A microwave oven is closed because a standing wave is required to get the power level needed to cook, not because a loose magnetron (aka microwave generator) is particularly harmful.
The complaints about RFID passports near genitals suggest that people think that the chips are harmful. I disagree.
The RFID chips need milliwatts of power (if not less), they are TINY after all. RFID readers need little enough power that they can be battery powered. See: vet's handheld animal id tag scanners. And THOSE are powerful enough to penetrate flesh. A scanner for a passport chip wouldn't need to be as powerful, so would most likely be even weaker.
Your car keys (if you have radio button ones) are more powerful than an ordinary RFID tag or reader. They can go through metal from tens of feet away, passive RFID tags aren't read from more than two feet and not through metal. I can't remember people worrying about the radio waves from them. Or how about Wii controllers? Or wireless keyboards and mice? Especially the keyboards, placed on your lap/genitals to use!
It's all bullcrap media scaring people about crap they know nothing about.