Planning a trip after June 2015? You may have to be inconvenienced by the fact that Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that all passports will be recalled and be replaced with more high tech passports with RFID data chips embedded. The data chips will carry the bearer’s data.
According to Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Minister of Internal Affairs, the change of the passports is to conform to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). He said that
“They decided that in June 2015, if you don’t have a passport which is electronically made and machine-readable, you will not travel, When we finish the ID project, we shall start on the passports because the technology we were using is now up-to-date,” he said.”
Nyakairima emphasized that all this process will be free of charge but those who don’t have passports yet, will go through the normal procedure and pay all the require fee.
What are RFIDs?
Radio Frequency IDs are basically chips (size of a rice grain) that can transmit personal information including the name, nationality, sex, date of birth, place of birth and digitized photograph of the passport bearer. Most of the developed nations already have electronic passports. Expect some opposition to the idea of implanting RFID chips in passports as it could it encourage smart identity thieves who could snatch personal information out of the air simply by aiming a high-powered antenna at a person or a vehicle carrying a passport.