Security concerns for IDs with microchips New ‘Ready Lanes’ incentive for border crossers
c/o El Paso Times
It’s been a week since the launch of the “Ready Lane” pilot program, an experiment to expedite traffic at the Ysleta-Zaragosa International Bridge.
The special lanes are for drivers whose travel documents come equipped with high-tech Radio Frequency Identification chips.
So far, border officials are pleased with the results. They say around 30 percent of the vehicles that cross the bridge every day now use the two reserved lanes.
“I do believe this is the way of the future,” said William Molaski, Customs and Border Protection port director in El Paso.
In a way, the “Ready Lane” program is an incentive for people to update their travel documents and comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, a federal mandate to strengthen border security and expedite international travel by standardizing authorized documents.
But as the U.S. government pushes for wider adoption of the new RFID-enabled documents, privacy advocates and computer security experts remain uneasy about the technology.
“The problem with RFID is that it can be queried surreptitiously without your consent. That’s the basic problem,” said Bruce Schneier, a computer security expert that has researched RFID vulnerabilities. “I think (RFID-equipped documents) are a bad idea, but nobody asked me.”
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliance under scrutiny by Real ID lobbyist, Janice Kephart