legislation to keep rfid tags from tracking people is introduced in california

This comes from Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere site:

California’s legislature is looking at legislation that would put a temporary hold on the use of government-issued radio-frequency identification systems (also called RFID) to track people. The bill, SB 682, also known as the “Identity Information Protection Act of 2005,” is drawing predictable but depressing fire from the technology industry (San Jose Business Journal).

The legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Joe Simitian (Democrat, 11th District) is not only justified, but vital. It’s a small step toward recognizing that people are not herd animals or widgets to be tracked in our every movement.

Keep in mind that the legislation has many exceptions for public purposes, several of which are pretty big loopholes by privacy standards. The industry’s objections have little to do with what’s good public policy, and everything to do preventing even the slightest speed bumps from appearing in their way.

One of the tech crowd’s least attractive attributes has been its zeal to become the tool supplier for the surveillance state. This is another example of an industry putting money over liberty.

For those of you who are interested, you can read the bill here… And perhaps it might not be such a bad idea to forward the link to your representatives.

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  1. Tony Buttons
    Posted August 25, 2005 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    But won’t we all be safer if the authorities know where we are at all times, and who we’re with?

  2. Doug Skinner
    Posted August 25, 2005 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Last week, two security guards (at a hospital, where I went to visit a friend) and a bouncer (at a crummy East Village bar) sternly told me that all American citizens are required by law to carry ID at all times. This, of course, is simply not true. Has anyone else been getting this lately?

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