World Cup security efforts net RFID tags on tickets

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Finally, an RFID tag that virtually no one can get angry about.

The folks at the World Cup, the world football (or soccer) championships, have embedded the Radio Frequency ID tags in all of the tickets they are selling to all the matches. That’s a lot of people, since it’s 64 teams and 12 stadiums and potentially lots of electronic and physical headaches. More than 3.5 million tickets have been embedded with the tags. But security troops are ready.

The RFID tag will contain the name, address, birth date, nationality, and ID card or passport number of the person who bought the tickets. That information can be gleaned from the personal information volunteered when the tickets were purchased. Of course, if you take the family to the game, all of the tickets will say your name on them—more of an incentive to make sure you hang on to those tickets and not sell them or have them stolen.

The RFID effort is part of a huge security plan being engineered by German police, Interpol, and other intelligence services. For example, you will also be under constant surveillance by cameras that have biometric facial recognition capabilities. Some police officers will also have fingerprint scanners, for identifying known hooligans or other suspects.

Higher-profile efforts include keeping tens of thousands of federal police and army troops on alert and closing airspace within 5 kilometers while matches are going on.

The World Cup runs from June 9 to July 9 in Germany.

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