The US State Department is good and ready to issue passports with embedded RFID chips. They’ve been doing it for a few weeks right in my backyard, and now they’ve secured a contract with Infineon Technologies (of Germany) to supply chips going forward.
The RFID chips will, of course, have plenty of information on them – name, date of birth, gender, place of birth, date of passport issuance, passport number and expiration date for starters. Conveniently, there will also be a digital photo of you in storage, because you know it is really much tougher to hold a passport photo up close to someone’s face for recognition purposes (versus having it pop up on a little screen you have to look down at). The Infineon chips are also ready for more in the way of biometrics.
I’d really like to say I feel much safer now, but in reality I’m just pissed. My passport doesn’t expire for another five years, so I can’t fly to Chicago to get one of the non-RFID flavors.
Bruce Schneier says renew your passport now, whether you like it or not!