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Are you ready for the spychip driver's license?

Is it possible that soon, driver's licenses will have such sophisticated RFID technology that police will be able to walk through a crowd and identify everyone in it?

I was sent this link Tuesday night by the venerable sports radio personality and onetime host of the E! Entertainment TV show "Digital Turf," Patrick Mauro.

The article, from World Net Daily, suggests that, sooner than some might wish, we might all have driver's licenses that are embedded with a very clever chip. Clever in the kind of way Heath Ledger's Joker is.

It's an article with many words, some of them technical and some political. The gist, however, seems to be that your driver's license could soon be adorned by a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip. This might have some advantages, but I'm not quite sure what those might be just at this rainy moment.

However, as I understand it, anyone with the appropriate reading unit will be able to scan your personal information, even though your license is tucked into your wallet, your jeans, or that secret pocket near your chest area, just by passing you by.

"OK, chief. We got two senators, four clergymen and the president of the National Abstinence Society. Do we go in?" CC Stephen Witherden

So you could be at your favorite mass event--the synagogue, the Daytona 500, the peace rally, Hooters--and someone from law enforcement or the KGB or the Sopranos could wander through the crowd and identify everyone in it.

Apparently, the powers-that-are remain clear that no important personal information will be divulged.

At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security suggests that when you get one of these so-called enhanced driver's licenses, which are already being offered (but not mandated) in New York state, you will also receive "information on how to use, carry, and protect your license, and a shielded container that will prevent anyone from reading your license."

I am constantly being told by those in the technological future that there is no such thing as privacy. But at the most basic aesthetic level, do I need a shielded container to carry my license and protect my vital statistics? I have been known to mislay shielded containers on a regular basis.

And, well, please, technological experts and futurists out there, comment, could you? This all seems a little odd to me.