Tiny computer chips called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that transmit information about us can be embedded in driver’s licenses, student ID’s and other government issued cards without our knowledge. These chips allow government agencies to track our whereabouts, are susceptible to a hacker with an RFID scanner, and expose us to the threat of privacy violations, identity theft, property theft, and stalking. Even protected RFID systems have been hacked, some in a matter of minutes.
California Senator Joe Simitian has been at the forefront of the effort in Sacramento to halt the use of these devices. The Senator has introduced four bills (SB 28, SB 29, SB 30, and SB 31) that would curb and control the use of RFID in government-issued, human identification documents, and prevent government from forcing citizens to carry unprotected RFID-enabled devices. He puts it this way:
Do you really want to issue millions of government ID documents before we determine whether the proper privacy protections are in place to guard against an identity thief skimming information from your driver's license or the government tracking your attendance at an antiwar rally or a gun show?We strongly believe that any RFID technology must be strictly regulated to safeguard our privacy and our liberty.