On Tuesday, Slashdot.org linked to a report issued by the DHS Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee that strongly recommended against the use of RFID in government-mandated cards and documents. You can view the report here: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_advcom_rpt_rfid_draft.pdf.Â Â
This news comes on the heels of some other recent developments in RFID, including the October 19 announcement that researchers at the University College London planned to develop a system of tagging all airline passengers with RFID tags to allow their movements to be tracked.Â (Geoff Kohl raised some very legitimateÂ questions about this projectÂ in last week's Security Week that Was column - http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/article.jsp?id=9718&siteSection=306.)Â
To many of us, programs like this prospective airline tagging system sound pretty far-fetched. ButÂ the DHS committee's report on RFID gives the impression that theyÂ have wholeheartedly bought into theÂ feasibility of such programs, because some of their arguments against the technology sounded like they were based on a sci-fi series rather than real, available applications.Â This leaves meÂ with three possible conclusions:Â 1) There is significantÂ successfulÂ government R&D on RFID people tracking of which we're unaware. 2) The committee is so concerned about the potential impact of RFID on personal privacy that they're covering all the bases of possible future applications in order to stop the government's use of the technology before it has a chance to progress. 3) These guys didn't do enough research.
Â Read it yourself. What do you think?