Bill to Temporarily Ban Tracking Devices

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

They’re called radio-frequency-identification devices, or RFID’s and they provide information by emitting radio signals.  Democratic Senator Joe Simitian says they’re useful for livestock or consumer goods, but they don’t belong in driver’s licenses or student ID cards.   He says there are privacy and identity theft concerns:

A person’s RFID driver’s license could be read from a distance, and without a persons’ knowledge as he or she sat in a building, entered an airport, stood at a political rally, or visited a gun show.”

The devices are *not* currently used in driver’s licenses and Roxanne Gould with the American Electronics Association says a ban could chill technological advancement:

 “This bill attempts to ban a technology irrespective of the protections that can be utilized.” 

Gould says there are ways to protect the information.   The Assembly judiciary committee approved a 3 year moratorium on RFID’s in driver’s licenses and student ID’s…but not a permanent ban.