The US Department of Homeland Security is to begin a major trial of passports embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips at San Francisco International Airport this month.
The trial will start in mid-January and see visitors from countries including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have their passports checked, processed and tracked using RFID technology.
All three countries have already started issuing passports equipped with RFID chips, which can store the personal information of the passport holder.
As San Francisco airport is one of the main entry points for visitors to California’s silicon valley, a large number of IT workers will now experience RFID systems at close hand.
The Department of Homeland Security tested RFID passports for a three month period last autumn at Los Angeles International Airport.