back to article California outlaws RFID tag skimming

California governor Schwarzenegger has signed a law making the illegitimate reading of RFID tags illegal, but blocked a measure making the unauthorised tracking of kids equally so. RFID Journal reports that anyone skimming an RFID tag issued by a government agency, health insurance company, employer or library could find …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward

    What is the point of this unenforceable law?

    This law is completely unenforceable. So what is the point of cluttering up the law books with yet another law with no value?

    As just one example of it's unenforceablility, my workplace uses RFID badges for building access. So every RFID tag in the scanner's neighborhood is scanned, so every RFID tag in the scanner's neighborhood is read, and only the RFID tags in authorized badges unlock the door. All that info from RFID tags not in authorized badges is discarded, but easily could be recorded, etc. No one would ever know, except the person running the badge reader. So this law does nothing.

  2. Sooty


    someone skimming a passport/credit card/etc to forge documents is going to be really concerned that they're breaking the law by skimming the data in the first place

  3. Dave

    That'll help a lot

    So all those would-be criminals just waiting to skim your RFID passport and credit card are going to stop because it's illegal. Just like they don't use handguns in the UK anymore because said guns are illegal.


    I guess it's the same mindset that has the question on US visa forms asking if you're entering the country to commit a criminal act - if you say no and then do so, it's just something else they can nick you for afterwards.

  4. adnim

    A law has been passed!

    That will surely stop RFID skimming. Excuse me whilst I shit.

    It is only illegal if one is caught.

  5. Mark


    Dont fix it, legistlate...


  6. Bad Beaver


    Not that this would cover any tags employed by a private person?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Business plan up in smoke

    Dang. I'd had this great idea for a hand-held RFID scanner to help people find library books at home when they can't remember where they left them.

    Faced with a choice of a year in jail for using the scanner, or a small fine from the library for getting the book back late ... I think I may have difficulty selling any of them

  8. Frank

    Quantum Tunnelling ??

    "..UK company Peratech has been pushing its quantum-tunnelling technology, able to create a switch with no moving parts, .."

    They had those years ago, using sensing of changes in capacitive coupling between two electrodes when you put your finger very close to it. (note, not resistive sensing because contaminant films would have messed it up). Why on earth do you need quantum-tunnelling do do such a simple function?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Hold up

    "...because schools aren't required to tell parents that their kids are being RFID-equipped, thanks to the governor's blocking of law that would have required parental consent." Umm excuse me but if you're going to track my child then you damn well should require my consent. This is yet another reason the governator needs to be dragged out of office and go back to making "C" grade movies. Might I agree to them putting an RFID tag in my kids ID, I might if the correct checks were in place. But to do that sans my consent is arrogant and an intrusion beyond belief.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @Iam Me

    I concur. Since when did it become ok for the state (the schools) to tag my sprog. I catch the dirty bastards doing that and someone is getting whipped and then sued to oblivion!

  11. tempemeaty

    Dethrone or be slaves. Choose.

    The communist government of California will now chip and it's children. Oh that's right they've taken away all rights to your own children. They are states children now. Slaves! Get chipped, inventoried, and tracked like farm animals so the corrupt politicians can be confident you've done nothing to dethrone them.

  12. Christoph

    @ Frank

    For a credit-card type device, even those aren't thin enough to fit. And they are more likely to be activated accidentally.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I'll be baaaaaaack!

    ...with my RFID scanner....real soooon!

  14. Murray Fraser

    @Iam Me

    "Might I agree to them putting an RFID tag in my kids ID, I might if the correct checks were in place."

    Oh.. yeah... right... they're putting the RFID tag in the ID... here I am thinking it was going under the skin.

    First graders line up over here for innoculations and RFID implants.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tagging the offspring

    Sadly, you're not even allowed to scan your progeny for these tags now, so you'll just have to microwave everything the school gives them. Time to get a really sturdy industrial oven with a heavy-duty magnetron that can stand up to a few small bits of metal being baked.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: "They are states children now"

    This is of course a perfectly sensible policy. Parents cannot be trusted with their own children; after all they are the ones most likely to abuse them, not the army of paedophiles on the net. Anyone who contests such a thing either does not understand the statistics, has some selfish desire to keep 'their family' together above the welfare of their child, or is a paedophile themselves.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Invalid test

    The terminal THC.ORG used was not a secure Broder Agent's terminal. There would be no reason for an alert to be displayed if the data is forged. The terminal was a standalone device used to ONLY allow you to check your documents to keep you from holding up the queue in the event your passport data somehow has been damaged.

    If I put a reader in a public place for anyone to use, I wouldn't attach it to ANY network. I'd just read the data, parse it, and display the data which fits the spec. If you hook a public terminal up to a network and verify the authenticity of the document, take a covert snap from an off-axis, out of view camera, and alert security (but not the document holder) if a forged document is presented, the terminal would be avoided after the first couple of persons get pinched.

    The THC test would only be valid at secure terminals connected to a networked database to verify authenticty, then compare data read with data stored. I don't think that THC testers want to push thier skills to the real test.

  18. Pat
    Thumb Down

    Illegal to find if my kids been tagged? screw that!

    Setting a baseline for legality is fine, except in this case its illegal for me to find out if my kids been tagged, that's screwed up. I can see it now; teacher overhears the conversation "hey dude, my dad's got this scanner and found out our school id has some chip in it, says its got my birthdate, sex, said its M, glad the old man didn't find Y,and how did the school know..."

    Then I find myself talking the mind police

    Just friggin great

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like