Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Outdated technology and reduced privacy

The California legislature has recently introduced a bill SB 249 (Hueso) on enhanced driver's licenses, that use "RFID" (radio frequency identification) CHIP technology to facilitate movement across california-mexican border. The goal is to reduce the border congestion and wait lines. However, as the critics have pointed out, the technology is outdated and unreliable because these chips are un-encrypted unlike the modern credit cards and passports. It not only opens doors for identity thieves but also privacy breaches by the government and employers, who may in addition decide to make them a job requirement. The significant fact is that the personal information stored in these licenses would be remotely accessible. The bill is couched in terms of giving false sense of security to those who apply for these licenses, something that should be widely challenged by privacy advocates.

With the modern technological advances used by the American government to facilitate the law enforcement and surveillance of citizens and non-citizens alike, we have long said goodbye to our privacy. The question is how far are we going to go with the open efforts by government to co-opt us into 'voluntary' compliance? 

For more see here and here.

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