The passport cards that Americans can use to travel to other nearby countries will have a technology that allows information on the card to be read from a distance.
The technology was approved Monday by the State Department for use on the cards, which can be used instead of a passport while traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
The cards will be able to be read from up to 20 feet away, in a process that takes just one or two seconds. The card wouldn't have to be physically swiped through a reader, the process that's currently done with passports.
But privacy advocates are criticizing the department for not doing more to protect the information on the card.
The Center for Democracy and Technology says the system is a threat to personal privacy, and poses the risk for identity theft.
The State Department says privacy protections will be built in, and that the chip on the card won't contain any biographical information.