California Bill Would Regulate Gov't Use of RFID
The LA Times has an article on a proposed state statute regulating government use of RFID for tracking people (Not Letting Chips Follow Where They May). The basic concept is probably a good idea, but I'm not really sure that this legislation is the best way to go about it:
Rather than an across-the-board ban, the amended bill would forbid state and local governments from mandating radio-frequency ID technology in driver's licenses and in student ID, health insurance and public library cards. The bill would not limit private industry use of the technology.
With a few exceptions, governments could use the technology in other forms of identification so long as they included at least three protections, stipulated in the amended bill:
- They must make sure the information is disguised with a unique identifier. A person's name, address and birth date, for example, would be represented by a number.
- State and local governments would have to encrypt that unique identifier or scramble it in some way so that only a person with a code could link the identifier with the original information.
- The cards must not transmit information to a reader until the machine verifies, perhaps using a secret password, that it is authorized to accept the data.
The technical safeguards don't seem to make a lot of sense to me. The bill is California SB682
posted by Ernest Miller |
November 10, 2003
I'll have to admit, I didn't forsee this use of RFID. Yahoo! News is running a story about how Australian fisheries investigators implanted microchips under the skin of protected fish and later found the chips in fillets in the poacher's freezer (Chips in fish help net Australian cod poachers). Technically, the article doesn't say whether the chips were RFID or not, but that would make sense. The idea is a pretty cool concept that could possibly be used in a number of other wildlife management investigations.
Of course, this makes me wonder what happened to any of the chips the poachers might have accidentally ingested. What if you could make digestable, degradable (perhaps even nutritious) RFID chips that could be put into food? How might this help the FDA track and keep our food supply safe? Imagine being able to scan that hamburger in the market and find out where it came from and when. Some interesting possibilities here ... either that or I am over-caffeinated this morning.
via Smart Mobs
UPDATE 1000 PT
In a strange coincidence, there is an article today in SearchEnterpriseLinux noting that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority has switched to Linux (With Linux, fisheries authority hauls in ROI).
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