I’m not a conspiracy theorist. Nor do I think the sky is falling. This rant isn’t conservative or liberal. I work in the Information Security arena so I do consider issues surrounding this to be in an are of my expertise. I can get heated up about certain political issues and one of them is our privacy rights. My main concern is to protect my information from would-be thieves and hackers. I don’t want them stealing my information or identity and I certainly don’t want to do anything to make it easier for them.
Then steps in the US Government.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification.
It is basically a process to tag objects with information. RFID tags
can be inserted into clothes, food labels, toll road transponders, and
Don’t get me wrong. RFID technology is not bad in and of itself. It is very useful for
large companies such as Walmart to track their inventory by scanning
items as they travel through a warehouse. It is also useful to put in
things like Toll Road transponders to remotely scan your account as you
pass under the scanner. It COULD even be useful to use in government
However, RFID as it exists today is not implemented securely. That is, a thief or hacker could theoretically walk into a Walmart and modify the RFID tag on a big screen TV so they could buy it for $10. It is also theoretically possible to scan your tollroad transponder and read information from your account. I have not tested this yet and I’m more than a little nervous to know what information someone could glean from my transponder.
The US Government is already putting RFID chips in new Passports. There are also plans for a national ID that would have an RFID chip embedded. Due to security concerns they have begun making Passport covers "scan proof" so no one could read your information while your passport is closed. A small step in the right direction. But sort of like putting a band aide on a gunshot wound.
So… what has got me even more in an uproar over this issue is that the US
Department of Homeland Security has produced a highlight critical
report advising against the use of RFID technology in government documents. But the scathing analysis remains stuck in limbo, as a draft report,
while the government pushes ahead with plans to include RFID tags in
everything from passport and diving licences to library cards.
Yes that’s right. The government has said the government should not use RFID chips in government documents but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
Isn’t that lovely?
I’m certainly not going to post any links about how to read RFID data – but it can be done. It has been done. And people will keep doing it. The current distance record for reading a tag is 69 feet. A person would not need to be right next to you in order to read your RFID tag from a government ID.
More RFID Reading:
This concludes my public service announcement