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Those RFID Chips in Your Wallet

Earlier this week I finished The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver.  This was the first book of his that I’ve read.  The book was so-so, but I was intrigued by how the villain tracked his prey through, among other things, RFID chips attached to credit cards in their wallets.

I received the TechRepublic newsletter today and what’s in it?  A piece about security and RFID.  The article was written by and for techs, but the message is clear.  Our personal security is compromised by those identifying pieces of technology in our pockets. It wouldn’t take someone very much time or money to make malicious use of this technology.  What really got my attention in the article was this:

Between the RFID chips in new US passports and similar measures required by Department of Homeland Security regulations persuant to the Real ID Act of 2005, US citizens could very soon be walking advertisements of their own personal information. Even the crudest uses of such information — just detecting specific classes of people based on the gross RF transponder characteristics of a given nation’s passports, such as detecting the presence of US citizens based on the manner in which data is encoded on passport RFID chips — can lead to significant security problems. It has been suggested, for instance, that a person’s nationality, detected in proximity to an explosive device, could be used to trigger the device.  It’s a simple way for a terrorist to make sure a bomb targets at least one person of a targeted nationality.

If you didn’t click on the YouTube video, here it is again.

Just something else to worry about—like this worldwide financial crisis isn’t enough…


One Response

  1. Interesting article and video. I remember doing an article on RFID when I was in University and the potential that this technology can be used in all pervasive implementation throughout society with the extreme argument (Chiefly argued by a professor in Warwick) of integration into our very own bodies.

    What with the dangers of being able to swipe information from RFID (Hotel swipe cards have recently been hacked into, so has London’s Oyster Card) and the worrying ability for governments to ineptly lose information using current technology let alone new ones, I have to share the concerns that these articles point out.

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