Privacy Rights and RFID- Will California Set the Standard? An-Nud has legislation on his deskSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Privacy Rights and RFID- Will California Set the Standard? An-Nud has legislation on his desk

26 September 2006 at 12:55:06 AM

Article starts out with that story of the misbegotten attempt to make kids have RFID identity cards at a school in Sutter California last year. One big problem with that was the school made this deal with an RFID company without, uh, telling the parents. When the parents found out, they threw a fit, and that stopped THAT nonsense. Then Senator Joseph Simitian drew up a bill about RFID in government documents and it await Mr. A.

Good provision being considered-that anything that contains an RFID chip must be flagged with some kind of symbol.

Simitian said his state—and the nation—is at the threshold of RFID's proliferating use in government identity documents. The Department of State has mandated RFID chips be added to all U.S. passports by the end of this year. Last year, the U.S. government put into effect its Real ID mandate that requires all states to redesign their driver's licenses by 2008—a move that signals for many of those same privacy advocates the advent of a national RFID-chipped ID card.

"This is the next really big privacy battle, and it will be fought in every state," said the ACLU's Sparapani. "This is the national ID card; every RFID vendor in the country wants in on this."

The ACLU and other citizen groups such as Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering oppose the use of RFID chips in any ID card issued by federal, state and local governments. Privacy advocates have told eWeek that they're concerned about the government setting up a system of ID card checkpoints around the country. More than one, including Kevin Ashton, the co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Auto ID-Labs, have said that chips on passports are both unreliable and a risk to data integrity.

"You can take the chip off one passport and stick it on another. No one will know the difference," said Ashton, now vice president of marketing at ThingMagic, in Cambridge, Mass., and an instructor at MIT. "It is truly a stupid idea to store any information on an RFID tag other than a unique number [that refers back to a database]. Otherwise, there is always the risk of data change."

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