U.S. Passports are getting RFID chips to make them not only machine-readable, which is a good thing, but remotely readable, which scares me. Bruce Schneier explains why in his latest Crypto-Gram:

RFID chips can be read by any reader, not just the ones at passport control. The upshot of this is that anyone carrying around an RFID passport is broadcasting his identity.

Think about what that means for a minute. It means that a passport holder is continuously broadcasting his name, nationality, age, address, and whatever else is on the RFID chip. It means that anyone with a reader can learn that information, without the passport holder’s knowledge or consent. It means that pickpockets, kidnappers, and terrorists can easily — and surreptitiously — pick Americans out of a crowd.

Great. Just frelling great.