Feeds

California mulls RFID privacy law

Scrambling for safety

SANS - Survey on application security programs

California is on the brink of introducing privacy laws to safeguard personal data stored on radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in government-issued documents and identification cards.

The Identity Information Protection Act of 2006 was passed by state legislators last month and only needs the approval of California Gobernator Arnold Schwarzenegger to become law. The measures are designed to safeguard against either criminal of government abuse of RFID tags by mandating the use of privacy-protecting technologies, such as encryption. The bill, authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (Democrat), would also give Californians the right to decide who can access their personal information stored on RFID cards in documents such as driver's licences, library cards and the like.

"RFID technology is not in and of itself the issue," said Senator Simitian. "The issue is whether and under what circumstances the government should be allowed to compel its residents to carry technology that broadcasts their most personal information."

Privacy activists hope the proposed law will become a template for federal legislation.

However the proposed measures are not without their critics. The Security Industry Association, which represents suppliers of biometric and access control technologies, has written to Schwarzenegger warning that the law might spur frivolous lawsuits against government agencies. It also expressed concerns about measures that would oblige government agencies to publicly disclose the location of sites where RFID readers are in use. Other critics, such as RFID Law Blog, describe it as unnecessary because theft of personal data from RFID cards has not been widely reported. It also warns that the law could stymie the adoption of RFID technologies.

The proposed California bill has drawn national attention following the federal government's decision to embed RFID tags in new US passports. Security experts such as Bruce Schneier are increasingly questioning whether e-passports will remain secure for the 10-year lifetime of a passport, Computerworld reports. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.