Fly the Panoptic Skies

A Hungarian airport will soon test an RFID passenger tracking system (story here and here). The system can track every passenger to within one meter, and it will contain countermeasures to prevent passengers from removing or trading their RFID-tags. The claim is that by knowing the position of every person in an airport, crime and terrorism can somehow be prevented. This, of course, only makes sense if you can identify the criminals and terrorists in advance (you gotta know who to watch), and in that case, they shouldn’t be allowed into the airport in the first place, right?

My favorite line from the article is this: “The issue of infringement of civil liberties will also be key.” (not really followed up by any substantive discussion)

“Like, yeah, we’re also aware of, you know, those civil liberty things.” Well, thank goodness we have that nasty complication covered. I love how these stories always make mention of civil liberties, but rarely actually engage with the issue. Meanwhile, the “proof of concept” is going forward, and such a system could be live within 2 years.

[BoingBoing and Bruce Schneier have more coverage]

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