A new California bill seeks to protect your privacy from
covert scanning. The Identity Information Protection Act
(SB 682), authored by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto),
would prohibit state, county, or municipal governments
in California from issuing or requiring RFID-embedded
identity documents. RFIDs, or Radio Frequency
Identification tags, could enable remote reading of
the personal information on your driver's license,
health benefits card, or student ID.
RFID tags are small embedded chips in documents and objects
that respond to remote radio signal requests with
identifying data. If RFID tags are included in state IDs,
personal data could be scanned without your knowledge
or permission, exposing you to the risk of tracking,
stalking, and identity theft. Furthermore, the signals
emitted from RFID tags could be used to quickly identify
American citizens in foreign countries. RFID-embedded
government ID is a bad idea.
hard enough keeping these things out of passports. No one should
be able to read your identification information without your consent --
and that means physically taking possession of the ID to attach it to a
reader device. If RFIDs are ever included in a standard identity
document, freedom of association is dead -- along with any vestige of
privacy. The EFF has a way you can send comments in support of the bill. I think this is a preemptive measure, but there's nothing wrong with telling unelected public servants what they shall not do before they try to do it.