Magazine article National Defense

Homeland Security Sours on RFID Technology

Magazine article National Defense

Homeland Security Sours on RFID Technology

Article excerpt

DHS scrapped the notion of requiring states to use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to ensure the cards are machine readable in all jurisdictions when it released its long-awaited rules on the controversial REAL ID act.

DHS thwarted a nationwide rebellion in March by introducing flexibility to the act one year before it was intended to go into effect. The legislation aims to create nationwide standards so every state-issued ID can be read in all jurisdictions.

DHS will recommended states use the 2-D bar codes already found on the back of many state-issued driver's licenses today. No states currently use RFID on drivers' licenses.

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said in the past that he was a fan of RFID technology, but the department seems to have soured on its use. REAL ID was the second hit against the technology at DHS that month.

The US-VISIT program, which intends to track the departures of foreign visitors leaving the United States, also abandoned RFID. The program had undergone several tests to track the feasibility of reading visas or other documents as visitors walked or drove through ports of entry. …

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