March 30, 2011
A few years a go, the United States government required nearly all passports to have a computer chip with the passport holder’s personal information. This contains the name, nationality, gender, date of birth and place and a digitized photo of the passport holder. Allowing this to protect the cardholder and makes it more difficult for criminals to get away with tampering passports.
Like everything else, this brings up privacy issues.
With these passports, this exposes people’s identity to strangers. The State Department made security precautions to prevent this from happening. The RFID tags will use digital signatures to prevent tampering, and only when it is within inches of an RFID reader will the information be accessible.
These passports have a “multilayered approach” which protects privacy to reduce people from stealing data. This metallic “anitskimming material” is located in the front cover and spine of the book and prevents it from being read in the distance. However, because the digitized picture is required it helps to make it impossible for posers to make copies and forge someone’s identity.
The biggest downfall here with the RFID tags in the passports, is that the government, once again, has access to tracking your every move. Essentially with the passport being closed it supposedly cannot be read unless it is near a RFID reader, but once you come near a reader your information is handed over and you are being tracked.
Is this just another technology where the government is trying to track people? Or do you this is a necessity and not an invasion of privacy?