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Well I managed to lose my wallet over the weekend. I can narrow it down to a time frame of about 2 minutes between having it and realising we had parted company. I went back but no sign of it, so either someone found it and has yet to report it or it’s been stolen. Luckily, I was borassic at the time so whoever has it only has a few rectangles of useless plastic and my drivers license.

The most annoying thing about losing it is having to go through the motions of cancelling the bank cards, and reapplying for new cards including a new drivers license (£19). Of course, to pay for a new drivers license I need a credit/debit card neither of which I have at the moment.

My passport expires pretty soon too so I’m in danger of being without any ID at all. Not only that, but with my drivers license having gone AWOL, my chances of being a victim of identity fraud just rapidly increased. Apparently these guys can help. Let’s hope so. Otherwise I could find myself in a potentially dire situation.

RFID’s in passports
Talking about identity fraud, it seems that new UK passports feature an RFID chip as part of the biometric passports now being issued. The US is also issuing RFID passports and there’s a good post here about why it’s not such a good idea. Especially interesting is the argument that RFID chips in passports need to be rigourously secure for at least 10 years (since that’s the standard duration of a passport), and that this is equivalent to getting a new version of MS Windows and not expecting an update for 10 years. While I’m a big advocate of gadgets and new technology, I do think that perhaps we’re jumping in a little too early on this one. Will I need to download firmware updates to my passport in years to come?

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One Comment

  1. Good points, well made! With each and every passing day more information comes to light about the ways that contactless technology seems likely to impact on our lives. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or ‘contactless’ applications are certainly a force to be reckoned with. For those that are interested in this subject, I’ve posted some PDF case studies on my blog, which may be of interest. All make for pretty easy reading, (even a numbskull like me can understand them), and are aimed squarely at lay audiences; detailing both the pros, and some of the cons with this new science!!!

    There are three files at present, (all optimized for swift download) and from memory I think it’s the second file that details a big student RFID tagging programme in Texas. Really staggering stuff! There’s a story about how hackers have ‘skimmed’ information from the UK Oyster travel card, and one about the US Department of Defence, which now issues RFID shielding sleeves (i.e. anti-skimming) with its standard issue ID cards for service military personnel. (Mmmm – that one made me wonder????)

    Anyway, you should be able to navigate to the relevant post by following this link: http://trackandshield.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/some-useful-case-studies-at-rfid-protect/

    Thanks for raising awareness by the way.


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