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RFID Passports coming to the US in August

Stan Horaczek
07.15.06
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It has been a long and extremely troubled road for the ePassport here in the US, but it looks like they'll finally start hitting carry on bags of non-diplomats late next month. The new RFID tag-toting documents will store all of your personal data, including name, address, nationality, a picture, a digitized fingerprint and just about every other thing crooks would need to take your identity for a joyride. The government is insisting that they've taken the necessary precautions to prevent data "skimming," but that can be a lot trickier than it sounds. Just ask the Dutch. Ultimately, the technology could go either way, acting as an effective method of cross-checking people across a vast security network as they move from country to country, or evolving into an omnipresent grid of surveillance that will spread viruses and confine us all to our homes lest we feel the wrath of cyber criminals or high-tech fascists. So let us know how it turns out, we'll be in the basement with our RFID-blocking wallet and tin foil hat.

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