Your passports are full of tech

In close to a decade of work as a full-time journalist, I can't recall a single instance where I referenced my work for one outlet at another. There's a few reasons for this.

First, outside of an occasional mention of something I've written on Twitter, self promotion's always felt awkward and kind of gross to me.  When I'm not online, I live a quiet, nomadic life. I don't like a ton of bother and my Imposter Syndrome assures me that I'm not worth it. Second, the moment my work's approved by an editor for publication, I cease to consider it mine. As a freelancer, I'm employed on a pay-for-work basis.  I don't own the words I write for Macworld or USA Today. They do. I take pride in the work I do, but most of the companies I work for have talented social media specialists that do a better job at getting the word out about something that I penned than I ever could. So, I leave it to them.

That said, I wrote something that I thought was much more interesting than the work I typically get asked for by joints aside from Boing Boing. So, here I am, sharing it with you.

Earlier this month, I interviewed officials from the Department of State and an ethical hacker for AFAR Magazine to get the skinny on what the hell's actually on a passport's RFID chip, who can read it and whether it's being read is anything we need to be worried about. Along the way, I found out a ton about where U.S. Passport books get made, how many of them are out there and the fact that, somehow, people lose an absolute shit-ton of the things every year.

I don't get paid any extra for promoting my work (that'd be pretty sweet, though) and as the work I do for AFAR is assigned, not pitched, I'm pretty sure that the number of visits that the story gets won't dictate whether I write for them again or not. So, check it out or don't–it's cool.

I just thought that what I learned was really interesting. I thought that maybe a few of you might think so, too.

Image via Flickr courtesy of SwimParallel