Passport cards go hi-tech in US

Fire has been drawn from some quarters as the US govt. plans to use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips in the proposed program of passport cards for U.S. citizens. These ID cards will be mandatory for residents who’re not having passports for their identification anywhere in the country or overseas.

This program has been proposed so that security can be shored up throughout the nation. Passengers who travel by air among different countries may be asked to show this kind of an ID proof anytime from 1st January 2007 onwards, whereas for those who travel by land or sea this rule is going to be applicable from January 2008.

The State Department said, instead of using contact less smart card technology “proximity read” it will use the RFID technology “vicinity read” in cards in these new e-Passports. The objective is to have passport cards of credit card size. Therefore, customs & border security officials can read these cards even when they are 20-30 feet away.

As per a Research Analyst’s view at RNCOS, who has recently researched a report on “Global Smart Card Industry - Future Outlook (2007)”, “People carrying an RFID-enabled ID card may be exposed to greater surveillance without being aware of it. Individuals with such cards are also likely to have less control over when they want to be identified and what information is read, stored and shared.”

This research report on “Global Smart Card Industry - Future Outlook (2007)”, also addresses some interesting issues for today’s Global business environment.


- The situation of smart card industry in world.

- The potential of smart cards if they are used with Biometrics Technology

- Get an insight into trends in market performance

- Pinpoint sectors of growth and identify the driving factors.

- Key Challenges and Strategies.

- Identify market, brand leaders and understand the competitive environment.

- Major driving forces for smart card Industry.