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The threat of terrorism rises through our minds once again when we hear of another kidnapping or video tape released to the foreign press. The president speaks on an individual’s privacy and the overall larger picture, the ending of lives. All these circumstances has warranted other countries to start the utilization of E-passports, these electronic RFID passport systems are better than the paper trails from years ago and more importantly they’re safer.

Governments from New Zealand to Malaysia are handing out RFID encoded passports to their citizens as well as Pakistan. The RFID passport is embedded with a small chip that will contain a variety of digital information not only will this make border and customs security easier and faster, but it will make the entire process much safer than now.

First, agents will be able to pull up the passport information on a screen and visually compare the digitized photo to the passport barer. Second, facial identification software will be used to compare the actual photo to the holder of the passport, and third the passport chips will be safeguarded against coping and restructuring.

Because this technology is new, the USA has decided to wait and see, not a bad idea says critics of RFID technology. Recent concerns regarding personal privacy, the ability for terrorists to create remote readers and other security issues are in question. Not to mention if the entire globe was on the same system and 180 countries had access to these records, imagine the compromises even if these RFID passport systems were encrypted, which most are currently not. But still RFID experts argue that the systems in place now are much less secure and in fact the stealing of personal information that is stored on a RFID chip is much safer and virtually impossible unless equipped with a software reader within feet of the RFID passport.

UPDATE : You can protect yourself by getting a wallet that protects your RFID information that is stored RFID Blocking Passport Cases and Wallets for under $20.