Skip to comments.Texas bill would replace vehicle inspection stickers with RFID tags
Posted on 04/06/2005 9:09:48 PM PDT by rdb3
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.
What the hell is he doing?
Police will not be happy having the state force them to spend millions on the equipment needed to read such devices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maybe we need RFID to track our politicians who come up with these awful proposals
LOL, Rocky. I can see it now! It'll be like watching a Key Stone Cops episode!
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.
There. That limits it's misusers to felons.
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).
Yes. Let him test it first. Good idea!
It will prevent a lot of illegals from driving, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Uh, no. I-PASS electronically collects tolls using a radio frequency system which activates your transponder about 3 blocks before the deduction is taken.
Put one on his forehead.
He must own an insurance company.
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.
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!