This story from BusinessWeek is disturbing in its implications: when passports and driver's licenses have RFID tags embedded in them (as early as next year), the data can be read from a distance. The problem:
"We do need passports with more data," says computer security expert Bruce Schneier. "But they chose a chip that can be queried remotely and surreptitiously. I can't think of any reason why the government would do that, other than that they want surreptitious access." And if airport and border security guards can read everyone's passports on the sly, so could anyone with a radio-chip reader, from terrorists to identity thieves.
The government's response to privacy advocates: "Trust us."