If you thought toting an RFID-enabled passport
was infringing on your so-called privacy, the European Union is going the extra mile to ensure you completely relinquish any remaining aspects of personal choice when you enter its airports. On a mission to "improve airport efficiency, security and passenger flow
" (read: keep a constant eye on your every twitch), the EU
is dropping €2 million ($2.5 million) on the Optag project, which allow airports to toss a newly-developed RFID
tag around the necks of all incoming passengers. The tags, crafted by University College London's antennas and radar group, have an unusually long range -- "about 10 to 20 meters" -- and can pinpoint the location of whomever is donning them to "within one meter." Developed to ensure "a quicker stream of airport traffic," the chips are continuously monitored for deviant or suspicious behavior, and a network of "high definition cameras" (1080p
?) are in place to track your every move. For those of you traveling through Hungary's Debrecen Airport, you should probably arrive prepared to rock a newfangled necklace for the duration of your stay, but try not to let that constant reminder of Big Brother
's omnipotence get you down.