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    Korea Times: Credit cards with bio-info to debut

    The Korea Times reports that there are privacy questions arising over proposed RFID-enabled cards that would contain individuals’ medical data:

    The state-run disaster control agency is working with a credit card company to issue cards that will contain biological information about holders to enable a quick and effective treatment in the event of an emergency.

    Heated debate concerning possible privacy violation and the consequences a leakage of such information could bring will match daytime temperatures.

    The National Emergency Management Agency said it has signed a deal with Korea Exchange Bank’s credit card unit to issue the cards, tentatively named “Respect Life Cards,” as early as next month. 

    Like any other credit card, it will be used the plastic to buy products and services, but it will have an electronic chip containing encrypted information about the holder’s identity, blood type, past health conditions and treatment record as well as the hospitals they go to.

    The agency will use mobile radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to manufacture the cards. They will be useful for patients who need emergency health care, the agency said. […]

    Regarding concerns about a possible leakage of such information, the official said the RFID devices will be provided only to emergency service workers.

    “All information contained in the chip will be encoded, so only emergency service workers who have the RFID devices will be able to check the data,” the official said.

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