But despite the fact that attendees know they should take precautions to protect their data, federal agents at the conference got a scare on Friday when they were told they might have been caught in the sights of an RFID reader. The reader, connected to a web camera, sniffed data from RFID-enabled ID cards and other documents carried by attendees in pockets and backpacks as they passed a table where the equipment was stationed in full view. via Feds at DefCon Alarmed After RFIDs Scanned | Threat Level | Wired.com. Think about this. You probably are carrying an RFID card with personal information stored on it.
In 9/11’s aftermath panic ruled the nation’s domestic security bureaucracies, Congress and the White House. Paranoid mid-level bureaucrats were given free rein to “innovate” and guess what popped up? RFID tags in your passport. And now they are adding them to driver’s licenses too. via RFID passports: a tragedy waiting to happen | Storage Bits | ZDNet.com.
Since officials decided to put RFID chips in jewelry for girls and dog-tags for boys in middle school in Celebration, Florida, I’ve been writing about the efficiencies these “radio frequency identification devices” bring to commercial and organizational transactions, while threatening privacy and the security of our personal information. In California, mothers rallied when the school board tried to put chips into childrens’ IDs without consulting parents. The RFID used in our new passports was designed by Walmart and other merchandisers. The information it holds has been scanned from 160 feet away from the device, which is supposed to be readable only within 4 inches of itself. The WaPo reporter doesn’t even touch on the plan to put one of these devices in the ear of every single cow in America, a costly proposition for small farmers, and one the Amish are resisting on religious grounds.
Bruce Sterling, in Wired’s ARPHID Watch says:
*I’m surprised that Verichip didn’t think to promote this scheme themselves. *People are reacting with predictable shock, shock, (((none more gleefully than
io9, presumably because the puckish editor’s got a Verichip in her))) but the “invention” here is dead simple: in principle, it’s an electronic parole device with a roadside IED bomb attached to it. They’re recast as an imaginary “GPS chip” and an imaginary cyanide dispenser. Both of those somehow both fit under the hides of undesirables. via Arphid Watch: Implantable GPS “Killer Chip” creates press flap | Beyond The Beyond.
Would you have a chip implanted in your body to address a disability? Would you implant one for convenience? If one is not enough, how many are too many? Arphids are not neutral technology though it is easy to miss the point where having one on a credit card morphs into an implant…. We haven’t warmed to the idea yet, but the idea of implanted chips isn’t a totally crazy one.