|Back to April Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 243||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||APRIL 2006|
|Californians battle for privacy|
Radio frequency technology uses miniature electronics including a tiny antenna to broadcast data stored in the RF device. Data are detectable using scanning devices ("readers") that emit radio signals. With a purchased or homemade RF "reader," stored data on "contactless ID cards" may be accessed without the cardholder's knowledge.
Beyond application to products and wild animal tracking, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) plan forecasts use of RFID with livestock and other domestic animals and birds.
Experimentation with RFID applied to student ID/data cards is increasing around the country - and in some cases, adopted without public knowledge or approval. (See "Concern Grows Over ID Data Systems and Tracking," Education Reporter, Feb. 2006).
Application of the technology is also growing to include insertion of tiny rice-grain sized glass-encapsulated chips under the skin of people.
What SB 768 says
The Sept. 2, 2005 amended version of SB 768 would mandate a "unique personal identity number" that in the future could be used to link different kinds of personal data (education, medical, financial, etc.). SB 768 would also require:
The bill allows for civil action for non-compliance. There are penalties for unauthorized remote access of data, including "imprisonment . . . for up to one year, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both". Opponents of SB 768 want removal of sections deemed as unnecessary security issues and a hindrance to RFID industry growth.