• Dec 28th 2007 at 8:43AM
  • 59
Just because you have an RFID chip in your driver's license doesn't mean the authorities are watching you; it simply means they can if they want, whenever they want. Arizona, Michigan, Vermont, and Washington will be the first states to begin placing the radio frequency identification chips in their citizens' licenses.
The chips don't need to be physically read by someone scanning your license -- they can be read by monitors within a 30-foot range. Information contained will include name, DOB, physical characteristics, and a private identity number that will allow access to further information stored in the state's DMV database. One good thing about the enhanced ID's: travelers will be able to cross the border without a passport as of January 2009.

The Department of Homeland Security is in favor of the program, promoting it under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Said a DHS fact sheet, "Multiple cards can be read at a distance and simultaneously with vicinity RFID technology, allowing an entire car full of people to be processed at once." Motorists won't be compelled to use an enhanced ID, however -- in the beginning, it will be by voluntary issue only.

[Source: The Newspaper]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pfft. Most licenses already have magnetic strips on the back as is. Same difference, except that one can be read at a distance. Probably useful for cops to ID who they're pulling over.

      I'm not a big fan of the implications this may eventually have - i.e. tracking you wherever you go - but the FCC has already mandated that cell phones include GPS for tracking purposes, and that strikes me as a much more efficient way for Big Brother to control the herd than RFID.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No one requires I carry a cell phone, but I am required to have my license on me when I drive.
        I'll guess I'll have to start using an altoids can as a wallet- could be a whole trend.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The magnetic strip on your license is a WHOLE different story. Let's just put out a worst case scenario, shall we? Don your tin foil hat (or wallet):

        Big Brother comes up with a list of undesirables. Rabble rousers, thought terrorists, people who have been incarcerated at some point in their lives, etc. Every time you come within 30 feet of an RFID reader, you're being tracked. Corporations agree to help track your movements and start setting up RFID readers at the entrances to malls, gas stations, sporting events, etc. In fact, who knows, maybe the readers already in place at stores can be used for this purpose.

        If you're randomly tracked near the same point at the same time that some other undesirable is there, well, all of a sudden you're associated with them in some gigantic database. When they get caught stealing a car or blowing up a building, guess what doors the feds are going to kick in first? Have fun at Gitmo, sucker.

        It's a remote possibility, but even six years ago I wouldn't have thought that our privacy would have eroded to the point where it is now. And sure, you can defeat it with tin foil, until some fascist decides to make it against the law to "tamper" with your tracking device and decrees that you have to have it on you at all times.

        It may be that no harm comes of this, but I'm 99% sure that no significant good is going to come of it either.

      • 7 Years Ago

      Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both - Benjamin Franklin.
        • 7 Years Ago
        +1 on that.

        I don't care for this.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Can I also suggest identity theft?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Who says you have to? Get a foil-lined wallet and pull the license out when you feel like it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ethan, +1000
        • 7 Years Ago
        foil lined wallets will soon be outlawed!

        im surprised that Arizona and Vermont are among the first 2 states to institute this, i would have thought they would have been among the last

        rfid cards is evil, the only justification for their existance is to allow the government to "question" you without your knowledge. how long until they have a supercomputer that knows where everyone is at all times? at least everyone with an ID, im guessing the terrorists would not bring theirs
      • 7 Years Ago
      In God we trust ... others pay cash.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm ashamed that Arizona has volunteered for this little experiment in tyranny. I guess that's what we get for electing a liberal Democratic governor.

      Just remember: when they put RFID in your driver's license, your microwave oven is your friend.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just cannot believe what I read here. I thought all US citizens are brain dead already and I'm sooo happy they're not.

      You ppl gotta see this movie, just Google it or go youtube.com or video.google.com: Freedom to Fascism by Aaron Russo. And then, if you can still digg it, see this one http://zeitgeistmovie.com/

      Xcuze my english, I dont have M Word available to correct it :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Xavier 5 stars =)
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      After reading all the posts here, I've got to say the political discussion was a lot smarter and more reasonable than I expected from the internet. I guess that's what happens when it's on a car blog, which doesn't attract the crazy political talk.

      Like many here, I'm very wary of this, and can only wonder how long the government can ride this terrorism scare tactic. It's really a scary time, but Washington is really who's doing the scaring.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And I thought USA was fighting for peoples freedom in the Middle East :rollseyes: What amazes me is how easy it is for the government to implement all those "security" measures in the name of terrorism and US citizens take it in the butt without any hesitiation like they are supposed to. US is dangerously close of becoming a police state. For the sake of sanity, they should just drop all this talk about fighting for freedom and just say it like it is, a small elite of people who run corporations want even more profits. If they want to fight for world-wide freedom they should start in their own backyard. US is not the free country it once was, current government isolated US from the rest of the world and are using "terrorism" to put fear in people minds to easier implement all the "necessary" measures that some big corporation will bank on it big time. Simply ridiculous.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like I'll need to build a Faraday cage into my car (and wallet). Despite the fact that it will start out as being voluntary we all know it won't be long before it's included in all licenses and if this catches on then we'll just continue losing rights. Next thing we know there will be RFID receivers on every street corner tracking us and we'll be charged, fined, and processed before we get home because a speed camera has picked us up at 1mph over the limit and read the tag on our license. This is ridiculous and the DHS should be abolished or have its leash shortened.

      For anyone who gives me the "something to hide" argument, I suggest 1984.

      Now where's my tinfoil hat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Disturbing -- 1984 cometh one step closer every month it seems.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What liberty are you giving up? Your privacy for one. What prevents Joe thief from using a hacked scanner to pickup your address or this "private identity number" that magically unlocks more info about you. There was no mention of encryption. Who cares if someone knows your address you may ask? Well if I'm a crook and I want to know where the guy driving a Lexus or Mercedes lives all I have to do is get within 30 feet of him and viola I now know where he lives. Or what if I'm a rapist or stalker and want to know where my next victim lives - just get within 30ft and bingo. It won't be difficult to read these - if people can hack satellite and DVD encryption this will be cake especially if the government is involved. Also to claim this is primarily to ease crossing borders I call BS! You still have to physically identify someone. They won't let you just pass on thru by reading this card. I live in MI and I know how the Nexus pass works to cross into Canada - this is no different – this method just adds more info being stored or passed. This is a horrible idea IMO I see no need for it. Waste of tax payers’ money!
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