Moves to incorporate RFID into licenses raises security concerns
| 01.24.2006 | 09:49:43 | Views: 2152 | ID:
January 24: Moves by the Department of Homeland Security to incorporate radio frequency identification chips in drivers' licenses under the Real ID Act have been met with resistance from a coalition of privacy advocates and conservative groups, Government Computer News reported Monday.
Listing reasons why they oppose the move - Citizens Against Government Waste and the American Civil Liberties Union - the group says the new chips would be unsafe, would suffer from a lack of universal standardization and would be expensive to manufacture and place in the ID's. Under the Real ID Act passed by Congress last year, states are required "to tighten standards for driver's licenses and to deploy machine-readable technologies and to use biometrics, such as fingerprints to verify identity," GCN reported.DHS GCN continued, "is expected to release guidelines soon on which machine-readable technologies - including magnetic strips, barcodes or RFID chips - must be used to meet Real ID Act standards. In similar moves, the Transportation Security Administration, a subsidiary agency under the aegis of DHS has begun a pilot program in San Francisco International Airport using the RFID chips implanted in passports. The chips have biometric as well as commercial and property data. The program is to help increase security for those traveling to and from the United States and is an extension of the US-VISIT program begun by the TSA last year. In a letter to DHS, the coalition wrote, "An exact tally of the potential costs of RFID technology is hard to come by, but there is no question it would be expensive. ... Aside from the cost of the issue, we are concerned about the lack of adequate protections against the theft of personal information arising from remote-sensing devices."
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