Government Computer News is reporting today on a debate within the US Department of Homeland Security over whether to embed RFID identifiers within identity cards, that US citizens would carry with them when making border crossings into Canada or Mexico. One concern is that the cards themselves may be so powerful that officials could conceivably use them to spot citizens in a crowd, away from territorial borders.
"It has the potential for quickly identifying American citizens in a crowd," said P.T. Wright, a Homeland Security official involved in RFID card development, in response to a question at a FOSE trade show presentation last month.
The U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (U.S. Visit) program can read RFID-enabled documents 35 feet away in tests. To safeguard privacy, the RFID documents transmit only a series of numbers, which must be matched to a database to identify a person.
(Government Computer News)