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royce leather RFID passport walletAs if travelers didn’t have enough to worry about. In addition to money belts to help us hide passports and credit cards under our clothes, there’s now a whole new line of travel gear to protect the electronic data stored on those documents.

Take the Royce RFID-Blocking Passport Wallet. This attractive leather case, which retails for $34, is designed to protect travelers against identity theft.

Since 2007, all U.S. passports have been issued with a small electronic chip embedded in the back cover. The chip uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to store information, including all of the identifying data printed on the front page of your passport, as well as a biometric identifier — a digital image of the passport photograph that can be used for facial recognition technology when you cross international borders. The information in the chip is transmitted via radio waves when the passport is scanned by an RFID reader.

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Your passport may not be the only document you carry that has an RFID chip; many newer credit cards have them as well. (If you’re not sure, look for the term “PayPass” printed on your MasterCard, “expresspay” on your AmEx or “payWave” on your Visa — or call your credit card company.)

The rise in RFID technology has raised concerns about just how securely these chips store our information. Anyone with an RFID reader who gets close enough to the chip would in theory be able to read the embedded data — including card numbers and expiration dates — even through clothing or a purse.

royce leather RFID passport walletDoes this mean you should race out and purchase an RFID-blocking wallet? Not necessarily. The U.S. State Department offers a detailed description of the security features of its electronic passports here, which explains that the passports themselves have RFID-blocking metal built into the cover — so the chip can’t be read unless the passport is opened.

I think a protective wallet would be more useful for credit cards, which seem to be at greater risk for data skimming. The cheapskates among us can also block RFID readers by wrapping their cards in aluminum foil — if you’re willing to lose a few style points.

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– written by Sarah Schlichter

62 Responses to “Could This Wallet Keep Your Passport Safe?”

  1. Lisa Evans says:

    I love this passport wallet!! When traveling, you are subject to many unforseen dangers – this pretty wallet would prevent any ID theft and it is stylish too! I’D LOVE TO WIN IT!

  2. Melynnique Seabrook says:

    I saw a TV excerpt about the problem with these kind of chips the other day and wanted to
    find a protective wallet. I hot pink color is great, and I’d love to have one. Thanks!

  3. Dr J from Chicago says:

    Love the idea of being able to put our logo on them and give as gifts to some of my best customers

  4. Kathy O says:

    Going to England next year and could use this.

  5. This is a fantastic idea, and is one way to lessen stress when traveling internationally.

  6. Robin E says:

    Love your website, love this article. Going to Morocco in May and this Passport wallet would keep me worry-free. Thanks you.

  7. Debra EM says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for having such a wonderful website and great give-aways. Hope I’m lucky enough to win the passport wallet. Regards.

  8. Danyal says:

    The color on that passport case is absolutely beautiful. With so much news coverage going to consumer protection, this seems like a really stylish solution. It’s great they can personalize – my wife would certainly appreciate the “going the extra mile” look for Mother’s Day this year!

  9. Leslie Walden says:

    Every little extra security measure is a good idea these days. And this one even comes in a pretty color.

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