There’s a bit of carryover from my previous post regarding avatars (reLink); how they’ll be increasingly adopted by users and how they may become increasingly important information containers… with or without our consent.

The Simulation Weblog posted a related entry on avatars (Link) and the topic in comments has turned to avatars merging with passports (you can get a look at the relatively boring, RFID-enabled U.S. passport over on the Spychips RFID blog – Link).

Simulation’s author read my mind when I raised the possibility of merging avatars with RFID passports:

I can see a future passport including a 3d scan of my face for facial recognition software, biometrics such as fingerprints, iris scans and DNA, as well as data such as social security numbers, address, etc etc. Why not package this as an’avatar’, since it could be made to look like me on line? In many ways it would be useful, since it would compine all my passowrds, identities, etc etc., into one user-friendly entity.

If the wrong name can cause trouble, imagine what else might throw a monkey wrench into living a normal life. Thankfully, RealID is losing support, but this is a bigger issue than one poorly considered government initiative.

One thought on “OpenAvatarRFIDPassportRealID?

  1. Ugh. I don’t want my passport filled with biometrics (they all go on file) and I certainly don’t want that to be my avatar! Part of the point of avatars is that they are under the individual’s control, and part of the point of restricting RL information by using an avatar is that I have no idea what sort of dataset it might be connected to in the future. I have seen enough issues with simple things such as stalking and harassment relating to too much information going out, let alone wider, long-term data privacy; I want to control the information that I provide.

    I am admittedly going to be renewing my passport and the new one may contain an RFID chip, but, well, I can’t help that, and some sort of terrible microwave-related accident may well befall said chip in the not-too-distant future.

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