US Launches RFID Passports
August 14, 2006 9:53 AM
comment(s) - last by
Government officials insists new passports are secure
This week the US government plans to
rollout new RFID passports to citizens nationwide
. The new passports contain a chip which requires no power and contains duplicate information of what's printed on the passports. This way, government officials at air ports and other national borders can quickly verify the authenticity of printed information on the passports.
last reported that the
US government planned to issue the new passports this month despite privacy concerns
Despite the security benefits that the US government is boasting, security advocates and experts say that the
new RFID passports present an increased level of danger
for passport users. Because of the technology being used, remote RFID readers can read information off the passports for cloning or malicious use. The US government argues that this is no different than having someone steal a physical passport -- they wouldn't be able to use it anyway. Officials claim that the information be stored on the new passports are encrypted and cannot be copied and modified. Likewise, the information on the passports cannot be scrambled or changed because the chips are read-only.
The US State Department already has a fairly comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions website
about the new electronic passports
. About half of the official Q&A from the State Department is with regard to security. For example, the site claims "To prevent eavesdropping, Basic Access Control (BAC) is employed in the U.S. e-passport. BAC is similar to a PIN used in ATM or credit card transactions. In the case of the electronic passport, characters from the printed machine-readable zone of the passport must be read first in order to unlock the chip for reading. Thus, when an electronic passport is presented to an inspector, the inspector must scan the printed lines of data in order to be able to read the data on the chip."
Staff counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington said that "many of the advantages the industry is touting are eliminated by security concerns." However, a German security company has already demonstrated that information on the new passports can be copied and transferred to another device. The State Department claims there is an anti-skimming technology in place to prevent this type of exploit specifically, though exact details of the counter-measure have not been revealed yet.
The new passports are being manufactured by Infineon Technologies, but production has not started yet. Other countries deploying new passport technologies include Japan, France and Canada. The new RFID passports are already being used in French international passports and Canada plans to introduce biometric passports sometime in 2007. Japan's
are already being rolled out in select regions. The UK is
still in the planning phases for its passports
The new passports will cost roughly $97 per passport and includes a $12 security surcharge. The US government expects the technology to be fully deployed within the year. Those with regular passports will still be able to use them until the expiration date is reached.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: protecting your data
8/14/2006 11:47:51 AM
I think the greater concern is with individual security, not national security. The ability to forge or duplicate passports is the same with and without RFID. What is different with RFID is potential problems with individual security.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
RFID US Passports Coming in August
July 14, 2006, 11:49 AM
Japan Gets Biometric Passports
March 22, 2006, 1:20 PM
US Lets RFID Passports into Real World Use
March 14, 2006, 3:26 AM
UK's Biometric Passport OK, Dutch Passports Cracked in 2 Hours
February 4, 2006, 1:28 PM
Not All the High-Tech Jobs Are in California
August 4, 2016, 8:29 PM
Google's Gleaming Glass HQ Gets Mountain View Snub, LinkedIn Gets the Love
May 7, 2015, 6:58 AM
Tech's Tax Day Fortunate Few: Qualcomm, Xerox, GE, et al. Pay Little or No Taxes
April 15, 2015, 11:30 AM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Most Popular Articles
Are you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Are farm children less likely to have allergies and asthma in adulthood?
Sep 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
MH 17 shot down by missile 'brought from Russia' into Ukraine's rebel territory
Sep 29, 2016, 5:00 PM
Burlington Gun Attack
Sep 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Who is in Risk of Getting Oral Cancer?
Sep 23, 2016, 6:02 AM
France Bans Plastic Eating Utensils in Restaurants
Sep 18, 2016, 10:49 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information