An episode on Global TV aired Sunday, January 25, 2011 about the dangers of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips found in Enhanced Driver’s Licenses, Passports, and Credit Cards. The episode showed how anyone can put together simple electronics found online for a few dollars to grab your detailed information from as far as 30 feet away!
What is an enhanced driver’s license?
They are dual-purpose documents designed for the user’s convenience. In addition to serving as a typical driver’s license or ID card, they may be used to re-enter the U.S. at its land or sea ports when returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. This flexibility speeds your passage back across the border. They verify your identity and citizenship – no other proof is needed. Enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards are among the federally approved border-crossing documents when entering the U.S. required under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
Enhanced Driver’s License ID Theft
These new Driver’s Licenses contain an RFID chip to allow speedy processing at border crossings. Provinces of BC, Manitoba, and Ontario implemented them although they are not mandatory at this time.
According to the video, a person could be sitting in a food court happily scanning away! Granted that was 30 feet of open space but in a food court even within 10 feet, hundreds of people could be scanned.
Walmart stores could read your personal information
Recently, retailers including Wal-Mart have primarily used RFID tags, which store unique numerical identification codes that can be scanned from a distance, to track pallets of merchandise traveling through their supply chains.
Walmart executives call it the start of a “Next generation Walmart” however it has privacy advocates raising questions.
While the tags can be removed from clothing and packages, they can’t be turned off, and they are trackable. Some privacy advocates hypothesize that unscrupulous marketers or criminals will be able to drive by consumers’ homes and scan their garbage to discover what they have recently bought.
They also worry that retailers will be able to scan customers who carry new types of personal ID cards as they walk through a store, without their knowledge.
Which States offer the Enhanced Drivers License?
- New York
States considering implementing an EDL include:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
What’s Being Done?
The president of RFID technologies in Canada and US authorities warned of the dangers of the RFID. According to the episode, the only thing being done is distributing RFID shields with the enhanced driver’s licenses and new passports. No comment was given by governments. One has to wonder if the extreme distances that the driver’s licenses can be read from is a way government can track our movements.
Source 2: http://www.greatdreams.com/rfid.htm