The U.S. Department of State is ready to issue those RFID chip-infused passports, but security experts and others are still on edge about contactless interfaces – and systems getting accessed by hackers.
The new program will start in the Denver passport office and be rolled out across the country over the next several years. All American passports are expected to include RFID chips containing personal information by 2017, Computerworld reports.
Electronic passports improve security by making it harder to forge or alter official documents, say state department officials. If, say, a passport were stolen, the chip’s uniqe ID number would make it trackable by law enforcement personnel.
In addition to concerns, other variables are left dangling: an RFID chip may be used in the future to store biometric information such as a fingerprint image. However, no decision has yet been made on how to use the extra storage space.