States Cracking Down on 'Spychip' Privacy Lapses

California and Washington take action to block some uses of RFID tags
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 9:02 PM CST
States Cracking Down on 'Spychip' Privacy Lapses
A radio-frequency identification chip, known as RFID, is seen on display at the RFID convention at the Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Tuesday, May 1, 2007. (AP Photo/John Raoux)   (Associated Press)

Radio Frequency ID tags—data-loaded microchips that track everything from shipping containers to cars to humans—increasingly are raising concerns with privacy advocates who worry the “spychips” could reveal too much about our lives, reports Ars Technica. Tech-savvy states such as Washington and California are trying to legislate RFIDs, banning non-consensual chip reading and regulating how RFIDs are used.

California, which recently barred companies from requring new hires to get RFID implants, also passed a law against reading data contained in RFIDs—embedded in an array of ID cards—without the owner’s consent. Washington’s bill covers even more, requiring more notice about the use of the devices. Critics say legislation needs to be more consistent between states. (Read more RFID stories.)

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