If you have ever walked into a Travel Store or looked at travel gadgets online you will see the highly marketed RFID wallets and passport holders. Normally I don’t buy items I feel are marketed to “Travelers”. Then while standing in line at REI to return some shoes I spotted RFID sleeves for sale at the register where gum should be sold. It sparked an interest in me. Is this really a concern? Are there that many people buying these that they have replaced the much needed gum, point of purchase spot? Last week I did have to get a new Credit Card issued due to fraudulent Ebay charges. My research began.
I found that this is the same technology used in my Fast Trak toll device. When driving to San Jose with a car full of kids I use the tolled carpool lane. The reader has no idea if I’m alone or I have 3 kids in the car, it just charges me. No matter if I put the device in my trunk, glove box, under my seat or in my purse. Apparently I was given a small Mylar bag ten years ago when I purchased the device from Costco to place it in for this reason. I believe foil will work as well.
As of October, 2006, the US state department issued rules that dictate all US passports must have embedded RFID tags. The chips are designed to hold biometric data for passport holders, but are not designed to track your movements… Or so they say… From a distance, anyone with the right equipment can read the contents of that chip. He can tell your name, nationality, or any bit of info the government decides to embed in your passport.
After my research I decided to invest in a RFID wallet. As the holder of five or six passports at a time it has been difficult to find a wallet to hold more than one passport. So I decided to make my own using aluminum foil and duct tape. Costing me around $2. Here is my crafty result. The passports are poking up for photo sake but push down completely into the wallet.