Monday, June 27, 2005

Identifying Foreigners, Human And Not

American Marketing Association News: "PETS VERSUS PEOPLE. Never let it be said that the world of technology isn't chockablock with irony. At the same time that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was pushing back plans for the United States to implement a 'biometric passport,' which will incorporate a radio-frequency identification chip that will hold retinal-scan, fingerprint, and other identifying data in order to check the identities of foreigners visiting the country, a Swiss company said it's prepared to offer the biometric technology required for pets to travel in the European Union. In an effort to prevent the spread of rabies in Europe, the EU recently mandated the use of permanent identification for dogs, cats, and ferrets traveling between member countries, according to Sokymat, which identifies itself as 'the world's leading provider of RFID transponders.' Starting last October, traveling pets must bear either a clearly readable tattoo or an electronic ID; in eight years, only the electronic ID system will be valid. "

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