Aided by a security expert, Guardian journalist cracks new high tech passport in 48 hours. The prelude to the main story is quite alarming:
I deconstructed the life of an airline passenger simply by using information garnered from a boarding-pass stub he had thrown into a dustbin on the Heathrow Express. By using his British Airways frequent-flyer number and buying a ticket in his name on the airline’s website, we were able to access his personal data, passport number, date of birth and nationality. Based on this information, using publicly available databases, we found out where he lived, his profession, all his academic qualifications and even how much his house was worth. It would have been only a short hop to stealing his identity, committing fraud in his name and generally ruining his life.