4/25/2007California Senate Votes to Ban RFID Licenses
California Senate votes to ban RFID chips from licenses for drivers.
The California state Senate voted 31-6 Monday to impose a ban on driver's licenses containing radio frequency identification (RFID) transmitters. State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) introduced the measure to prevent the Department of Motor Vehicles from using the technology to track motorists, exposing information to the potential of identity theft.
Although California's DMV has stated it does not intend to the technology, the US State Department issued its first RFID-enabled passport last year. RFID chips allow a scanner to read a document's sensitive personal information from a distance, including name, address, identification numbers and a photograph. In March, the London Daily Mail was able to download all of an RFID passport's information from a sealed envelope before the new passport had been delivered to its owner. This happened even though the document had encryption advertised as secure and unbreakable.
If approved by the Senate and governor, the provision would expire on January 1, 2011.
Article Excerpt:BILL NUMBER: SB 28 INTRODUCED
INTRODUCED BY Senator Simitian
DECEMBER 4, 2006
An act to add and repeal Section 1672.7 of the Vehicle Code, relating to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 28, as introduced, Simitian. Department of Motor Vehicles: personal information.
Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon proper application, to issue an original driver's license or identification card, or a renewal, duplicate, or replacement driver's license or identification card.
This bill would prohibit the department from issuing, renewing, duplicating, or replacing a driver's license or identification card, if the license or card uses radio waves to either transmit personal information remotely or to enable personal information to be read from the license or card remotely.
This bill would provide that its provisions shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2011, and as of that date would be repealed.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 1672.7 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
1672.7. 1672.7. (a) The department shall not issue an original driver's license, issue an original identification card pursuant to Section 13000, or issue a renewal, duplicate, or replacement driver's license or identification card, if the license or card uses radio waves either to transmit personal information remotely or to enable
personal information to be read from the license or card remotely.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Personal information" includes, but is not limited to, an individual's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date of birth, religion, ethnicity, photograph, fingerprint or other biometric identification, driver's license number, California Identification Card number, social security account number, or other
(2) "Reader" means a scanning device that is capable of using radio waves to communicate with a driver's license or identification card and read the personal information broadcast or transmitted by that license or card.
(3) "Remotely" means that physical contact between the driver's license or identification card and a reader is not necessary in order to transmit personal information.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2011, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2011, deletes or extends that date.