Back in the day (yes, I'm old enough to say that), the whole airport experience used to be quite pleasurable - get your ticket, go through security check-in, have a few drinks and several cigarettes at the bar, board the plane, and then fly the friendly skies. I no longer smoke or can justify spending so much money on alcohol, but there's an even bigger change right around the corner that will affect everyone who travels by plane. Check out this news story: "New RFID tech would track airport passengers."
According to the article, "The plan is to issue an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag to every passenger at check-in so human traffic can be monitored throughout the airport via transponders and video cameras... if the trials in Hungary are a success and the technology attracts customers, it could arrive in airports within two years."
Sure, there are some advantages to this technology. "The ability to locate individuals could also aid airports in an evacuation situation... and in finding lost children and passengers who are late to the departure gate." I've traveled with my son several times, and when he was little, I would have gladly paid extra for this tracking device!
However, as with everything in life, there's also a flip side. "...there are still some sizeable hurdles to real-world implementation, such as figuring out how to get the tags to operate properly in an airport, developing a system that ensures people will wear them, and allaying concerns over civil liberty infringements."
It really makes me wonder what airport security will eventually look like. Exactly how many hoops will we have to jump through? Fingerprints? Retinal scans? RDIF chips (will we be able to wear them in a bracelet, or will they eventually be implanted)? Furthermore, when will these ID devices extend beyond airports and be required to for all modes of transportation? Are you ready for the future of security technology?
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.