AP Story Finally Pulls Together Threats of RFID in Passports

Richard Stallman at WSIS 2005 presenting his R...
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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. When did you get your passport? Are you broadcasting your whereabouts and your personal information without knowing it? Read on.

In February 2005, when the State Department asked for public comment, it got an outcry: Of the 2,335 comments received, 98.5 percent were negative, with 86 percent expressing security or privacy concerns, the department reported in an October 2005 notice in the Federal Register.

Identity theft and “fears that the U.S. Government or other governments would use the chip to track and censor, intimidate or otherwise control or harm them” were of “grave concern,” it noted. Many Americans worried “that the information could be read at distances in excess of 10 feet.”

via Chips in official IDs raise privacy fears – washingtonpost.com.

Read my posts since 2003 on how surveillance is invading our lives via RFID

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