Security.co.uk, 24 Dec 2012: 'Security Tip of the Week: disguise your passport as a sandwich'
"In Security Tip of the Week, each week a different professional, expert, researcher or reader provides a security tip. Personal tips ranging from safely configuring Windows, a handy security tool or correctly setting up a firewall, which the tipster uses to make his system, application or network more secure.
This week's tip from Vincent Böhre [Privacy First Foundation]:
From now on, leave your passport at home
For years, most people have lived under the assumption that they are required to carry a valid passport or identity card (or driving licence). However, according to the Comprehensive Identification Act (January 2005), you only need to be able to carry a valid ID show. From an official carrier is never existed. So the next time an officer asks for your ID, you can say: "Fine, officer, just walk home with me and I'll show you my ID. Have a cup of coffee at the same time."
Now you might be thinking, "Nice tip, but what does this have to do with security?" A lot, when you realise that hundreds of thousands of passports and ID cards are issued every year missing hit. Those documents can then be misused by others. So it is better to leave your passport or ID card at home. It's safer that way!
Disguise your passport as a sandwich
There is a second reason why I would advise people to leave their passport or identity card at home from now on: the remotely readable RFID chip in the document. That chip was introduced in the Netherlands at the end of August 2006. Incidentally, its usefulness and necessity have never been demonstrated. Despite high security standards, there is no guarantee that the RFID chip cannot be read, cloned or abused by unauthorised persons without being noticed. For example, while unsuspectingly standing in line at the bakery. Or in a crowded tram, or anywhere else. Should you still like to have your passport or ID card in your pocket, make sure the chip can no longer be read remotely. For example, by wrapping your ID in kitchen aluminium foil (Faraday's cage!), just like a sandwich.
Become a citizen of Sealand
And then there are those pesky fingerprints. According to the Ministry of the Interior's "tentative schedule", identity cards without fingerprints will not come on the market until October 2013. So until then, the Dutch population will have to make do with a biometric error rate from 21-25%. Or temporarily apply for a foreign ID card without fingerprints, for example in Sealand (a microstate in the North Sea). There are also other, physical methods of circumventing fingerprinting, but I leave those to your own imagination... and at your own risk. 😉
Passport process Privacy First
On 18 December last. challenged Privacy First the Dutch State before The Hague Court for breach of privacy in the new Passport Act. This case will also address the RFID aspect of passports and ID cards. This is unless the Lower House prematurely decides that the RFID chip should be voluntary. And that Dutch passports and ID cards should have metal foil inside the sleeve (as has been the practice in the United States for years). Privacy First will not be able to wish for a nicer Christmas next year!"
Source: Security.co.uk, 24 December 2012.