By Deane Barker on October 5, 2004

Does Big Brother Want to Watch?: Security Guru Bruce Schneier writes about a supposed plan to embed password details in RFID chips under the skin. They could be read by a holding some device within a few centimeters of the skin.

Unfortunately, RFID chips can be read by any reader, not just the ones at passport control. The upshot of this is that travelers carrying around RFID passports are broadcasting their identity.

Think about what that means for a minute. It means that passport holders are continuously broadcasting their name, nationality, age, address and whatever else is on the RFID chip. It means that anyone with a reader can learn that information, without the passport holder’s knowledge or consent. It means that pickpockets, kidnappers and terrorists can easily — and surreptitiously — pick Americans or nationals of other participating countries out of a crowd.

It’s tough to think of a worse idea than this. Isn’t there some Biblical angle to this as well?