Branded: How RFID spychips are being used by government and major corporations
By Brent Daggett
Contributing writer for End the Lie
In the 2006 tome, Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Purchase and Watch Your Every Move, privacy rights activists Dr. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre illustrate what radio frequency identification technology (RFID) may be used for.
There are two main elements of an RFID tag. The first is a small silicon computer chip that includes a unique ID number. The second part of the RFID tag contains a flat antenna, which is hooked up to the miniature chip.
This is how the tags and readers work: “When an RFID tag gets within range of a reader, the tags antenna picks up the reader’s energy, amplifies it, and directs it to the chip. The energy stimulates the chip to beam back its unique number, say 345678…, along with what other information it was programmed to relay. The reader device captures this information and processes it.”
What was just described is a “passive” RFID and that is just dependent on the reader for a power source.
However, “active” tags can contain an internal power supply. An example of uses would be toll collection systems such as FasTrack and EZ-Pass.
While understanding the functions of RFID is essential, knowing how the chips will be used amongst the populace is also critical to evaluate.
On March 14, 2012, the Connecticut Senate Transportation Committee unanimously passed a bill requesting the Department of Motor Vehicles to produce a report regarding the implementation of RFID for motor vehicle registration no later than January 1, 2013.
The reason why Connecticut legislators are considering a plan to implant spy chips on license plates is due to RFID industry lobbyist and former astronaut, Paul Scully-Power.
If Connecticut decides to adopt the technology, Scully-Powell will likely make a significant profit, since he is a former CEO of Mikoh Corporation and SensorConnect Inc., which sell RFID solutions.
The core attraction of Senate Bill 288 is in the fact that the legislation would generate an automated ticket for drivers whose vehicle registration, emissions or insurance certification when it lapses, even just for a couple of days.
Also, the chips would enable real-time monitoring of all vehicles by positioning tracking stations in key locations throughout the state.
“There are two main reasons for the Department of Transportation to adopt this type of program,” Scully-Power wrote in his testimony. “One, to validate that every vehicle conforms to state regulations. Two, to provide considerable income to the state by identifying vehicles that are violating the existing laws of Connecticut…. The state would collect $29,619,500 per year or $79,858,500 in the same three-year period compared to the $594,000 it was able to collect.”