The website/ campaign No2ID has a delightful entry about identity theft (entitled HOME OFFICE: PASSPORT INSECURITY "DOESN'T MATTER"):
The assessment of EU information society 'Network of Excellence' FIDIS is rather more realistic and appropriate. Its recent Budapest declaration clearly states that "by failing to implement an appropriate security architecture" the UK and other European governments have "dramatically decreased [citizens'] security and privacy and increased risk of identity theft".
Even more surprisingly, the draft summary of a US Department of Homeland Security report says that RFID (the chip technology in the passport) "increases risks to personal privacy and security, with no commensurate benefit for performance or national security." This, from the very government that has halted implementation of RFID technology in its own passports, despite insisting that our government foist it upon us.