RFID: Too Narrow A Definition

Catching up on the California RFID bill in Deep Links I can’t help but being struck by the limited view of RFID that these discussions are taking.

(Aside: even though I’m ‘in the industry’, I don’t have a problem with the proposed CA law. People have got to think through some issues before this stuff goes into IDs.)

The following systems all involve sending your ID through the air (the first two are over RF, so are technically RFID, I’m not sure what the third uses). How are they any better/worse than RFID in my library card?

  1. Toll pass (they may not have these in CA)

  2. Cell phone. In fact, the ability to locate you is required by law (E911).

  3. Remote door control for your car.

With each these I can read your ID and recognize you if I see you more than once. Furthermore, if I have access to the right databases (in the case of your phone, it just may be the phonebook) and can correlate the ID to you.

So while I’m glad to see CA focus on RFID in ID cards, we need to move beyond that to a broader view of “ID through the air” systems and get a grip on the privacy issues.