RFID & Biometrics Used At World Cup in Germany


RFID, biometrics, hi-tech police officers, yes it’s all going to be happening in Germany for the close approaching World Cup 2006.

Not surprisingly, security is a top priority for the German government, even higher than its desire to see the national team walk off the pitch with the World Cup 2006 trophy.

The list of security precautions the government is taking is substantial. It begins with the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. More than 3.5 million tickets for the 64 matches will be sold with an embedded RFID chip containing identification information that will be checked against a database as fans pass through entrance gates at all 12 stadiums.

Organizers have asked everyone requesting tickets to provide a wealth of personal data, including name, address, date of birth, nationality and number of ID card or passport. Never before have fans attending an event organized by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) been required to provide so much information about themselves that can be accessed so quickly.

Seems like a massive anti-terrorism initiative, but well, all of these things can easily be falsified.

There’s a mammoth security control center containing 120 people watching monitors.

Another special group, the Central Sports Intelligence Unit in Neuss near Dusseldorf, is receiving thousands of tips from authorities in nations competing in the World Cup. Its database includes information on 6,000 hooligans who are already known to police and pose a direct threat.

Many of the security systems and procedures were tested during the Confederation Cup soccer tournament in Germany last year.

More than 30,000 federal police officers will be on duty during the games. Some of them will be equipped with mobile “fast identification” fingerprint devices. Fingerprint data captured by the optical devices will also be matched against data stored in the central database of the German Federal Intelligence Service.

Fast identification fingerprint devices…sounds a bit sci-fi right. Technology is indeed catching up, so the hooligans better watch out. But well, if your fingerprints aren’t in the database they can’t flag you right?

Better wear some ultrathin latex gloves ;)

Source: CSO Online

Posted in: Hacking News, Privacy, Wireless Hacking

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One Response to RFID & Biometrics Used At World Cup in Germany

  1. Richard Harlos June 6, 2006 at 8:22 pm #

    Okay, I’m not in any position to attend this event but I find myself seriously questioning whether I would attend even if I could???

    I understand the rationale behind the desire for security and I can appreciate that perspective. At the same time, I grant equal weight to the rationale behind protecting one’s privacy and think there should be a balance between these seemingly competing points of view.

    Why must nearly everything of critical importance be treated as either-or?

    Thanks for pointing this issue out; much appreciated! :-)