The Chinese Olympic Committee has offered more details about the RFID-enabled tickets being issued for the Beijing Olympics this summer. All tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies will include RFID tags containing personal information about the ticket holder, including passport information and home and e-mail addresses.
The information is included in an attempt to thwart counterfeiting of the tickets, which have a face value of $720. But the tickets raise concern among security experts, who theorize that an extremely secure RFID system to handle the tickets could cause serious tie-ups at the gates, while a lax security system would make ticket holders’ personal data easy prey to hackers. Officials say the Games’ security team will employ an IT team of at least 4,000 experts with 1,000 servers at their disposal, testing the system for the next two months.
Officials originally planned to embed RFID tags in all 6.8 million tickets issued for Olympics events. These plans apparently went by the wayside, along with a plan to include place a photo of each ticket holder on their ticket. The RFID tags will only be in tickets for the opening and closing events, and photos of the tickets released to the press show no photos on them.