The State Department is moving full speed ahead with their plan to add an identification chip to your passport. The chip will hold a digital version of owners face, the name, and other information. Later they may also include fingerprints or iris prints. Passport officials say the chips will help security and make it faster getting through customs. So, what’s wrong with all that?
The chips will continually broadcast all that information.
"The thought that your travel documents could be broadcasting your nationality to those with an interest in harming U.S. citizens is bad enough," said ACTE [Association of Corporate Travel Executives] President Greeley Koch in a written statement. "But it could also be pinpointing likely targets for pickpockets, thieves, and even providing information to steal."
The government, of course, claims that will never happen and that the chips are designed to be readable from a distance of three inches or less. At least with the reader they’re planning on using.
Am I paranoid to be worried about this? Well, when it comes to using technology to store private information, it’s good to be a little paranoid. It makes more sense to use a chip that requires contact with a reader rather than one that offers up the data all the time. The fact that the information on the passport chips won’t be encrypted only makes things worse.