U.S. changes mind about RFID-enabled passports (sort of)
By Donald Melanson
Following some intense pressure from privacy advocates, the U.S. government has admitted that their plan to put RFID chips in people’s passports had some potentially huge security problems. The original design had an RFID chip that would broadcast personal information to speed up the processing of travellers, but in an interview Tuesday Frank E. Moss, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services, said: “You do perhaps face a risk of a reading without the knowledge of the passport bearer, and that is obviously something we want to protect against.” Um, yeah. But despite the many possible problems with RFID technology, the government is still going ahead with plans to use them in passports, only now they’ll be more secure. The new plan is to use data printed on the new passport to unlock the RFID chip before it transmits anything.