Monday, March 31, 2008

State Leads Way on RFID Privacy

Washington has now become the national leader in addressing some of the privacy concerns related to the explosion of RFID technology.

In fact, we (CFC) are actively supporting nearly identical legislation as was just signed by Washington's Governor in California - sponsored by Senator Joe Simitian (SB 31) - that would make the malicious scanning of someones identification remotely without their knowledge and consent a felony. Washington actually went a step further by also making it a felony to possess information gained from an RFID-enhanced driver's license...further protecting unsuspecting consumers from having their personal information "skimmed" or their identities stolen.

The Seattle Times Reports:

HB 2729 says personal information on identity cards may be released to law-enforcement agencies only for customs and border-protection purposes. Personally identifying information may be released to law-enforcement agencies for other purposes "only if accompanied by a court order," the law states.

Another bill signed into law, HB 1031, outlaws "skimming," making it a felony for a person to "intentionally scan another person's identification device without that person's prior knowledge and consent for the purpose of fraud, identity theft or any other illegal purpose."


"This is a technology that the consumer is clearly unaware of unless it's pointed out to them," he said. The bill was opposed by the retail and cellphone industries, Morris said. "The RFID chip will be a huge revenue stream for them as they start to move the phone into the place of the credit card."


New Hampshire is poised to go further than Washington. This month, the New Hampshire House voted to ban RFID chip implants in humans and require a notification label on any product that contains RFID chips. The New Hampshire bill bars the state from using RFID chips in driver's licenses, license plates or traffic toll transponders.

Of course, California could become surpass both New Hampshire and Washington as the nation's leader in protecting personal privacy if just a few of the host of RFID related bills making their way through the legislature are signed into law. These include: SB 28, SB 29, SB 30, SB 31, and SB 388.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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