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Infineon blags big RFID US passport deal

Data transfer safe, firm reckons
Mon Aug 21 2006, 10:32
GERMAN FIRM Infineon said that the US government has given it a multi million dollar deal to produce ID chips for use in domestic passports.

The passports will contain a chip with shielding which contains an encrypted version of a human's name, date of birth, photo and the validity period of the passport.

All new passports issued by the end of the year will be electronic passports, said Infineon, which is also supplying similar technology to other countries. All countries part of the US visa waiver programme must issue passports using secure chip tech by October this year.

Data transmission is 10 centimetres, and the chips include Basic Access Control (BAC) which lets immigration officers pass the passport over an electronic scanner. Infineon claims the active protective shields on the chip's surface and sensors "help prevent" crooks and passport blaggers from reading the data.

Interestingly, the US has only issued 67 million passports over the last 10 years. µ


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