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Texas bill would replace vehicle inspection stickers with RFID tags
Computer World ^ | 6 APRIL 2005 | Linda Rosencrance

Posted on 04/06/2005 9:09:48 PM PDT by rdb3

Texas bill would replace vehicle inspection stickers with RFID tags
Privacy experts have concerns about the proposal


News Story by Linda Rosencrance

 
   
 
APRIL 06, 2005 - A Texas legislator has filed a bill that would, in part, call for the state to replace vehicle inspection stickers with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, otherwise known as transponders.

But the idea does not sit well with some privacy experts.

The tags would be used by law enforcement to ensure compliance with the state's insurance laws, according to Larry Phillips, the Republican state representative who proposed the bill.

"This is a system that would be used to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road. Right now it's at 26%," Phillips said.

The bill also calls for the transponders to be compatible with the automated vehicle registration and certificate of title system established by the Texas Department of Transportation. It would also require compatibility with the standards established by the Transportation Department and other agencies for use of toll roads and toll facilities, Phillips said.

Regarding privacy concerns, Phillips said it would be a felony to misuse the information stored in the transponders.

Beth Givens, director of the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, isn't keen on the idea.

"This is an appalling application of RFID technology," Givens said. "The reason is that the use of RFID for this particular application will not stop there. As with any information technology, there will be many other uses found for the RFID tag located on the vehicle. And tracking could be one of them."

Some people call RFID a "promiscuous" technology, Givens said, because anyone can obtain a reading device and read the tag, she said.

Givens said that whenever a new use for an information technology is proposed in legislation, there should be a privacy impact assessment of that technology to analyze the pros and cons and to study the unintended consequences of that application.

"This is a very good example of the need for a privacy impact assessment," she said. "One of the questions that should come up in such an assessment is whether or not there are other technologies that are less intrusive that can do the same job."

In this case, Givens said a two-dimensional bar code or a plain old bar code could be used, where at least the reader would have to have line of sight to obtain the data. With RFID, however, it can be read from a distance and without the knowledge of the vehicle owner.

"So it is a technology that could be used invisibly and secretly," she said.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, agrees.

"We're concerned about the unregulated use of RFIDs because they make it possible to obtain personal information without the person's knowledge or consent," he said. "That doesn't mean that RFID applications are necessarily bad, but there has always been a concern about access to driver license information and states have tried to regulate that over the years."

Phillips said a hearing will be scheduled on the bill.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; privacy; rfid; transportation
Now this is rich.


1 posted on 04/06/2005 9:09:50 PM PDT by rdb3
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To: rdb3
The tags would be used by law enforcement to ensure compliance with the state's insurance laws, according to Larry Phillips, the Republican state representative who proposed the bill.

What the hell is he doing?

2 posted on 04/06/2005 9:16:10 PM PDT by concerned about politics (Vote Republican - Vote morally correct!)
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To: rdb3

Police will not be happy having the state force them to spend millions on the equipment needed to read such devices.


3 posted on 04/06/2005 9:19:46 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Just Blame President Bush For Everything, It Is Easier Than Using Your Brain)
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To: concerned about politics
What the hell is he doing?

Smoking crack.

These are the same idiots who want to ban all over the counter medicines that contain pseudo ephedrine unless it is in liquid or gel form.

4 posted on 04/06/2005 9:21:19 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Just Blame President Bush For Everything, It Is Easier Than Using Your Brain)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: rdb3

What about all of the out-of-state vehicles? Lots of potential false alarms. Won't this get confusing for the police?

This is a very bad idea. Loss of privacy, lots of personal exposure. I'll risk the uninsured motorists any day over the well-intentioned snoops in government.


6 posted on 04/06/2005 9:25:46 PM PDT by Rocky
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To: rdb3
I've never been dumb enough to live in a state that has these mandated inspection stickers - aren't they just another tax-scam to collect more money for Big Government?

In states without these rackets, I don't see uninspected vehicles exploding, running off the road, tossing axles or whatnot. It's like in Oregon, where they don't let you pump your own gas - in other states, there's no rash of exploding gas stations because of dumb gas-pumpin' people.

7 posted on 04/06/2005 9:26:57 PM PDT by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: rdb3

Many politicians can't stand it if they can't keep track of people. Since 9/11 they see an opportunity to keep track of people. So I guess the insurance industry is trying to capitalize on the prevailing feeling. 26% uninsured means a lot of $$$ they could have in premiums that they're not getting.


8 posted on 04/06/2005 9:28:39 PM PDT by DaGman
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To: COEXERJ145; concerned about politics

Maybe we need RFID to track our politicians who come up with these awful proposals


9 posted on 04/06/2005 9:32:21 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Rocky
What about all of the out-of-state vehicles? Lots of potential false alarms. Won't this get confusing for the police?

LOL, Rocky. I can see it now! It'll be like watching a Key Stone Cops episode!

10 posted on 04/06/2005 9:33:15 PM PDT by concerned about politics (Vote Republican - Vote morally correct!)
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To: rdb3

An RFID can't be read from very far, especially if it is mounted on a metal license plate and is the size of registration sticker. Just a few meters.


11 posted on 04/06/2005 9:34:05 PM PDT by Dan Cooper
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Regarding privacy concerns, Phillips said it would be a felony to misuse the information stored in the transponders.

There. That limits it's misusers to felons.

12 posted on 04/06/2005 9:38:14 PM PDT by D-fendr
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To: concerned about politics

I say put an RFID inspection sticker on this politicians car for a few years and let's see how well he likes it (btw I will be happy to post this on hacker websites so that they can figure out a creative way to piss this guy off).


13 posted on 04/06/2005 9:38:51 PM PDT by Quixotical (Technology in the hands of idiots is just like pee in a swimming pool...)
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To: Quixotical
I say put an RFID inspection sticker on this politicians car for a few years and let's see how well he likes it

Yes. Let him test it first. Good idea!

14 posted on 04/06/2005 9:55:05 PM PDT by concerned about politics (Vote Republican - Vote morally correct!)
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To: rdb3

It will prevent a lot of illegals from driving, which is not necessarily a bad thing.


15 posted on 04/06/2005 10:07:20 PM PDT by mrsparkle
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To: Dan Cooper

Uh, no. I-PASS electronically collects tolls using a radio frequency system which “activates” your transponder about 3 blocks before the deduction is taken.


16 posted on 04/06/2005 11:14:52 PM PDT by endthematrix (Declare 2005 as the year the battle for freedom from tax slavery!)
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To: Quixotical

Put one on his forehead.


17 posted on 04/06/2005 11:24:07 PM PDT by lolhelp
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To: concerned about politics
What the hell is he doing?

He must own an insurance company.

18 posted on 04/06/2005 11:27:23 PM PDT by ChefKeith (Apply here to be added to the NASCAR Ping List, Daytona is done but we got 31 more races to go...)
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To: endthematrix
Uh, no. I-PASS electronically collects tolls using a radio frequency system which “activates” your transponder about 3 blocks before the deduction is taken.
That's a big, active (meaning battery powered) RFID on your windshield, not on a metal surface. On some vehicles it has to be mounted on the outside of the windshield because of metal oxides in the glass. The passive RFIDs that are small enough to be housed in a sticker have a much shorter range. These passive tags are basically charging up using the radio energy sent by the reader/transciever and transmitting a short burst of information. It is a much weaker transmission than the active RFIDs and can't be read from more than a few meters. Active RFID tags have a limited life because of the battery and are more expensive.

I don't think active RFIDs are what is being suggested here. So unless they are proposing passive windshield tags that can be read at about 10~15 ft, I don't think that they have done their homework.

19 posted on 04/07/2005 12:32:20 AM PDT by Dan Cooper
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To: Dan Cooper
"That's a big, active (meaning battery powered) RFID on your windshield, not on a metal surface."

This is big?

"On some vehicles it has to be mounted on the outside of the windshield because of metal oxides in the glass."

If a windshield contains metal components, request a I-PASS License Plate Tag (LPT).

Funny how government can think of everything!

20 posted on 04/07/2005 12:56:56 AM PDT by endthematrix (Declare 2005 as the year the battle for freedom from tax slavery!)
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To: Rocky

How sure are you that they're ultimately well intentioned?


21 posted on 04/07/2005 5:22:59 AM PDT by Stormcrow ("It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so.")
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To: MeekOneGOP; maeng; ValerieUSA; txflake; WinOne4TheGipper; DrewsDad; HiJinx; Gracey; anymouse; ...

TXDOT news ping. I heard a blip about this yesterday, and finally found an article on the subject.


22 posted on 04/07/2005 6:15:40 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (TV News and the MSM - - - ROTFLMAO)
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To: rdb3

Bullshi'ite. Cops today don't properly enforce the tags. A bar code and over-the-counter scanner would be more than sufficient. The only RF devices that go on my truck are placed there by me (toll tags, GPS etc).


23 posted on 04/07/2005 6:37:58 AM PDT by BJClinton
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To: endthematrix
Ok, maybe I was just too fixated on the "sticker" part of the following quote...

A Texas legislator has filed a bill that would, in part, call for the state to replace vehicle inspection stickers with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, otherwise known as transponders.

Those active RFIDs that you've pictured are relatively large compared to the sticker type passive RFIDs I'm thinking of.

Also, the active RFIDs cost in the 30$~50$ range vs. 50 cents for the passive. Granted, no price is too high for Government when they are paying with other peoples money.

24 posted on 04/07/2005 7:00:58 AM PDT by Dan Cooper
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To: Dan Cooper
"...no price is too high for Government when they are paying with other peoples money."

Speaking of which:

NHTSA has a notice of proposed rulemaking about mandatory tire inflation sensors on all new cars and light trucks.

Sounds great, right? But who's paying the $200 - $300 per vehicle this will cost?

Government?
Not a chance.

25 posted on 04/07/2005 7:10:45 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: Arrowhead1952
"This is a system that would be used to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road. Right now it's at 26%," Phillips said.

What the heck!? Every time I go to get my Auto Safety Inspection or to get my Auto Registration sticker, they ask to see proof of insurance. How the he** are 26% of folks getting around this ?? Somebody's screwing up big time.


26 posted on 04/07/2005 7:59:22 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: MeekOneGOP
How the he** are 26% of folks getting around this ?? Somebody's screwing up big time.

I have a friend who owns a car repair shop. He told me the DPS stopped by his place when he was still doing state inspections. Someone had their vehicle inspected there and the next month were caught without insurance. He ensured the DPS every vehicle he inspected had proof of insurance, but he could not prove they did not cancel the insurance the following day, week or month.

He said many people did just that. Paid for insurance for the month or two when the inspection and registration are due and then drop it the rest of the year. That was the biggest reason he quit the state inspections at his shop.

27 posted on 04/07/2005 8:19:34 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (TV News and the MSM - - - ROTFLMAO)
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To: Arrowhead1952
Wow. Some people are just real a-holes.

And guess who's PAYING for the uninsureds?
Yeah, the folks paying for insurance. G-r-r-r-r!


28 posted on 04/07/2005 8:45:58 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: MeekOneGOP

I know everyone wants recourse if they are hit but I still get peeved that the government mandates insurance.


29 posted on 04/07/2005 2:21:04 PM PDT by GulfBreeze (feelin' "chair"itable)
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To: GulfBreeze
Apparently, they don't really enforce the law. 26% get away
without paying for liability insurance.

My late uncle used to show financial responsibility (or whatever
they call it), and legally didn't have to carry insurance.


30 posted on 04/07/2005 2:34:03 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: lolhelp

better yet, put one on his weewee!!!!


31 posted on 04/07/2005 4:55:38 PM PDT by Quixotical (Technology in the hands of idiots is just like pee in a swimming pool...)
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To: Quixotical

ROFLMAO!!!!!


32 posted on 04/07/2005 8:19:50 PM PDT by lolhelp
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To: ChefKeith
He must own an insurance company.

The insurance companies are on our side on this one. Many (most?) uninsured drivers in Texas can't get insurance from their friendly insurance agent (due to tickets, DUI, etc.). These folks go into a "pool", that must be split up by the insurance companies. The "pool" is a loss-leader for the insurance companies.

If this effort is successful, the "uninsured pool" grows dramatically, at significant cost to the insurance companies. For once, big insurance is on the right side.
33 posted on 04/08/2005 4:43:00 AM PDT by Deek
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To: Dan Cooper
I don't think active RFIDs are what is being suggested here.

This is what is being proposed in Texas: eGo Tag

It's passive RFID in the 915 MHz frequency range.
34 posted on 04/08/2005 4:48:50 AM PDT by Deek
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To: Hank Rearden
***In states without these rackets, I don't see uninspected vehicles exploding, running off the road, tossing axles or whatnot. ***


This is just another means of extracting funds from the taxpayer without calling it a tax. I have had my go-rounds with the inspectors myself. After spending over 700 bucks on my van (brakes, exhaust, tie rod ends, Etc.) I had a conversation with the inspector that went like this,

"You need tie rod ends."

"They're new give me my sticker."

"You need a new muffler."

"It's new, give me my sticker!"

"Brakes"

"NEW!, Give me my sticker!"

"Catalytic converter"

"NEW! NEW! NEW! Here are the receipts! Everything is new! NOW GIVE ME THE $%#%$%$ STICKER YOU MORON!"

He finally failed me because the glass over the license plate light was cracked.

Don't even get me started about what happens when you change insurance companies.
35 posted on 04/08/2005 5:25:22 AM PDT by Cowman
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To: Deek
If this effort is successful, the "uninsured pool" grows dramatically, at significant cost to the insurance companies. For once, big insurance is on the right side.

Hmmmm, sweep all the illegal Mexican drivers into the assigned-risk pool, and suddenly insurance companies become supporters of immigration control?

What a thought.

<slaps self, wakes up>

It's still a stupid idea, sure to be abused. And it's Orwellian. No, thanks.

36 posted on 04/08/2005 5:48:17 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: Cowman
Oh, well -- you live in Tax-a-chusetts!

Remind me never to live there. Nor even to go there.

37 posted on 04/08/2005 5:50:34 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: lentulusgracchus
I have been thinking of what would be the equivalent of tea to throw in the harbor like Sam Adams did, but there is probably some sort of permit process.
38 posted on 04/08/2005 6:25:28 AM PDT by Cowman
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To: Cowman
He finally failed me because the glass over the license plate light was cracked.

You have got to be kidding me!

39 posted on 04/08/2005 8:51:23 AM PDT by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: Hank Rearden
He finally failed me because the glass over the license plate light was cracked.

You have got to be kidding me

I kid you not. My Dad was failed for being a thousandth of a Gm of NO2 over standard and the inspector refused to run it again until he bought a catalytic converter

gotta love the Watermelons. Watermelon = One that is green on the outside and red on the inside.

40 posted on 04/08/2005 1:04:33 PM PDT by Cowman
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