Smart Card Alliance Challenges DHS over RFID Deployment for WHTI PASS Card

New white paper recommends contactless technology for meeting goals at border crossings

The report strongly recommends a technology trial to evaluate the performance of ISO/IEC 14443-based contactless technology-the same technology used in the new ePassport-versus the EPC Gen 2 RFID technology being considered by DHS, before the final implementation decision for the WHTI PASS card program.

"This white paper is part of our ongoing efforts to educate the industry about the differences between secure smart chip technology and RFID, as well as other technologies like barcode, optical stripe and magnetic stripe," said Vanderhoof. "Our organization examines appropriate uses of technology for identification and strongly advocates the use of smart card technology in a way that protects privacy and enhances data security and integrity."

The Smart Card Alliance includes as its members a wide range of identity technology providers and end users from all industry segments. Organizations contributing to this new white paper include: Anteon, Fargo Electronics, Gemalto, Integrated Engineering, Philips Semiconductors, Saflink, Texas Instruments, and Visa Canada. The paper is available free of charge and may be accessed from the Smart Card Alliance web site:

As part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative imposes new requirements for admission to the United States. Starting in January 2008, everyone, including U.S. citizens returning from Canada, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and Bermuda, must present secure travel documents establishing their identity and nationality to enter the United States. The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to produce a less expensive, secure biometric ID card, called the People Access Security Service (PASS) card, as an alternative for U.S. citizens subject to this requirement who do not wish to use a passport.

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America.