Critics Cry 'Privacy' Over Passport Cards

US approves wireless ID that may spark identity theft
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2008 4:53 PM CST
Critics Cry 'Privacy' Over Passport Cards
Bill Moore, 56, from Denver, Colorado checks in at an airline counter in the resort city of Cancun, Mexico in this Jan. 23, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Israel Leal, File)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – New wireless passport cards will make it easier for Americans to cross borders between Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean—but privacy groups worry that thieves will be pinching personal data off the new ID, the AP reports. One critic called the cards "inherently insecure;" officials say safeguards are built in and personal data won't be on the cards' chips.

Advocates claim that the cards, which can be read from 20 feet away, will speed movement at border checkpoints, a key upgrade now that Americans re-entering the States will have to prove citizenship as of January 31. Only land and sea travelers will get to use the new wireless tech so far; air travelers must still swipe the old passport and endure longer waits. (Read more homeland security stories.)

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