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State of Washington goes on offense against RFID misuse

by on28 March 2008


Enacts law in advance

The State of Washington has enacted a new law to address potential misuse of information gained through RFID technology.  Under Washington State Senate Bill 1031, it is a Class C felony to use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to spy on someone.  This means that it will be a criminal offense to intentionally scan someone’s ID remotely without their knowledge and to use it for an illegal purpose, such as fraud or identity theft.  The new law also includes facial recognition technology.

Washington issued new State drivers’ licenses in December which use RFID enhanced technology.  These licenses have RFID tags and can be used in place of a passport at the U.S.-Canadian border. The law was enacted in advance of potential abuse with the intent of protecting people’s privacy.

The new law becomes effective in July.  It is aimed at the act of skimming or lifting information from RFID tags without the owner being aware of it, for example, at a crowded outdoor restaurant where a reader is used to scan several RFID cards in the area.

Last modified on 28 March 2008
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