The reason I bring it up here is because it paints a pretty strong fictional picture of what could be done by the wrong hands in our ever-more-connected world. They called it "The Vast Machine" and fictionalized how the bad guys were able to tie together information from every kind of source to create a super surveillance system capable of finding anybody who even touches the grid. Using ATM video feeds to track a victim, using toll boot cameras to track cars, planting false criminal records to get law enforcement to do their work, etc., etc..
On of the memorable sequences discussing the US's choice to put RFIDs into passports (supported and driven by the bad guys, of course):
"Is the information encrypted?" Michael asked
"Of course not. That would make it difficult to share the technology with other governments".
"But what if terrorists use the skimmers?"
"It would certainly make their job easier. Let's say a tourist was walking through the marketplace in Cairo. A skimmer could read his passport -- find out if he was an American and if he had visited Israel. By the time the American reached the end of the street, an assassin could be stpping out of a nearby doorway."
Michael sat for a moment and studied Nash's bland smile. "None of this makes sense. The government says it wants to protect us, but it's doing something that makes us more vulnerable."
General Nash looked as if his favorite nephew had just made an innocent mistake. "Yes, it's unfortunate. But you have to weigh the loss of a few lives against the power given to us by this new technology. This is the future, Michael. No one can stop it. In a few years, it won't just be passports. Everyone will carry a Protective Link device that tracks them all the time."
Scary. Very scary. Fictional yes, but not outside the realm of possibilities given current or near future technologies.
This certainly reinforces the need to study the long term privacy impacts of all this magical work we're doing in the Identity space and especially with the move to contactless transactions.
Anyway, good summer reading for everyone and especially for those in the identity space.