Ooh, I am quaking in my boots

US state outlaws RFID data theft | The Register

Washington state governor Chris Gregoire this week signed a bill which will make data theft by RFID illegal and punishable with up to 10 years in jail. The bill was signed in response to the growing use of RFID tags in the state, ranging from driver ID cards to company ID cards and retailers’ loyalty cards. The legislation is intended to prevent criminals using RFID readers to gain information from those cards without the owner’s knowledge. State Representative Jeff Morris, who sponsored the bill, told Computerworld, “If I take an RFID card from work or the grocery store, I should know that it’s protected, and someone else can’t read that card to get my identity, steal from me or stalk me…Our intent was to put some basic rules of the road in place.”

This law isn’t entirely bogus, I suppose — it prevents ostensibly legitimate organizations such as stores, restaurants, bars, malls and so forth from collecting information just for the heck of it. If you can prove that they did it by snooping rfids, and if the information they snoop is considered personal enough. (For instance, would a mall tracking customer movement and purchase patterns by rfid be considered snooping if the data weren’t explicitly associated with individuals.)

And as for illegitimate enterprises…


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