Feeds

US rolls out 'Vicinity RFID' to check IDs in moving vehicles

From 20-30 feet. But your data is safe, honest...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

RFID technology that allows the remote identification of travellers in moving vehicles is being rolled out at US land border crossings this month. Crossing points with Canada at Blaine, and with Mexico at Nogales, came online last week, with Buffalo, Detroit and San Ysidro to follow, and a total of 39 planned.

The system uses the US PASSport (People, Access Security Service) card, which is intended to operate within the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) for US citizens entering the US via land and sea ports. Using "Vicinity RFID" it can read the cards from a healthy skimming distance of 20-30 feet, but according to the Department of Homeland Security this isn't a problem. The RFID chip on the card doesn't contain any personal information, only a unique identification number, and skimmers wouldn't have access to the data the number matches up with.

The system is intended to work like this. As a vehicle approaches the border post, the numbers of the cards inside it are read, and pictures and data on the holders are called up from a database. Then, presumably, the immigration officers check the faces of the passengers to make sure they match, and bust any who happen to be flagged as terrorists or loose criminals.

In addition to the PASSport card, some US states are beginning to issue Enhanced Driver's Licence/ID cards (EDL/ID), which have the PASSport RFID functionality added to a standard driver's license. These can also be used for land or sea entry to the US, but neither variety of card is valid elsewhere, or for WHTI air travel into the US. Obviously, they'd only be of any use at anybody else's border post if there were compatible readers there, and if the US had kindly shared its ID database with the relevant country.

So it's an internal passport system, one that's entirely incompatible with the biometric ID system that the US has gone to such pains to get the world to adopt. Were they only kidding, then? ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.