April 7, 2009 | By Hugh D'Andrade

Michigan Rep. Calls for RFID Review

Why is Michigan set to issue new Enhanced Drivers' Licenses (EDLs) that include long-range RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology? That's the question that Michigan Rep. Paul Opsommer wants answered.

Michigan entering into a federal agreement to put unencrypted, long range RFID computer chips into our driver's licenses presents a huge privacy risk with very little benefit. I don't think we need RFID in our licenses period, but even if we did, there is absolutely no reason it couldn't be short range and encrypted.

Rep. Opsommer has good reason for concern. Studies have found that the long-range RFIDs embedded in the new IDs broadcast a unique number that can be read remotely from tens of feet away, using tools that are inexpensive and relatively easy to assemble. Michigan citizens who carry the IDs could be reasonably concerned about being tracked when they attend a political rally, go to a gun show, or take part in any controversial activity.

Pointing to a recent groundswell of resistance to RFID technology in Canada, Opsommer is calling for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to use her power to review Michigan's agreement with the federal government:

The Governor can get us out of this agreement with thirty days notice before a single one of these licenses is issued. I am asking her to do just that so that the entire agreement can be reviewed by her new Chief Privacy Officer and the legislature.

Thanks to Rep. Opsommer for standing up for his constituents!


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