Tests reveal e-passport security flaw

Tuesday, 31 August 2004, 2:38 PM EST

The Department of Homeland Security's first tests of electronic-passport interoperability exposed technology flaws, including myopic and dyslexic smart-card readers. Some readers could not detect the presence of e-passport chips, many could detect the chips but could not read them and others were befuddled about what information they were supposed to display.

On the other hand, in the absence of a private data encryption requirement under the proposed U.S. scheme, readers in one test were able to spy on and copy sensitive personal data from a distance of 30 feet. That has some security experts and privacy rights advocates calling for a rethinking of the planned system.

By Junko Yoshida at EE Times.

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