E-Passport System Test This Week
I've had encounters with similar systems to this E-Passport just recently on my honeymoon cruise. My wife and I were each issued a "Sea Pass" card, which didn't have our picture on it, but had our names printed on it, and a magnetic swipe. Whenever we wanted to buy anything on the ship, we would swipe our card and it would identify us and no cash was needed throughout the entire cruise.
For shore excursions, we swiped our cards as we left, and it noted that we no longer were on the boat, keeping track of everyone out on shore excursions and what not. On our return, we swiped our cards, it pulled up for the security guard our information as well as a picture, which he was able to verify our identity with, and let us back on the boat. I'm glad for this, as it stops people from trying to steal those cards, as they are useless if your not the same person, and since the data is stored in a central registry, can't be easily falsified, like a current passport could be.
I like the idea of an E-Passport, as it can guarantee a person's identity a lot more easily then a traditional passport, which can be forged easily enough these days with all the technology out there, as well as making travel safer in foreign countries, as well as for our own country.
I can't wait though for them to implement something such as an RFID tag inside of these, so we can just walk through customs, having it tally up all our items purchased, collecting duties as we walk, and have the whole ordeal be a lot less painless, instead of having to wait in long lines while you get questioned over and over... would be nice to just have the RFID tag identify you as you go through a turnstile, and have that be the end of customs...
Either way, this is going to make travel a lot easier and safer...