Electronic Number Plates And RFID Driver's Licenses Against Privacy
Today we at Jammer-Store would like to highlight the question of the driver's privacy protection in USA. Recent activities of our government look rather suspicious and we believe that they should be discussed. You probably heard about the idea to equip all the cars with electronic number plates, that can be configured and controlled remotely.
California's governor, Jerry Brown is ready to sign up the law, approved by the state's senate, that aims to equip all the cars in California with electronic number plates. Technically, such an upgrade is not really hard, that electronic plate is a simple display, that will be attached to the front and rear bumper of the car. But that solution may open wide opportunities, such as displaying not only service data, like the number, or “Hijacked” status, but some ads and things like that. The displayed info will be controlled and downloaded remotely by according authorities, via GPRS channel that uses GSM frequencies.
Well, form the point of authorities, the idea is brilliant, it will not only bring additional money to the budget from ads, but another good side of that idea is the fact that those plates will be harder to fake. The third point here is that solution will greatly decrease the cost of vehicle registration. The annual postal expenses, spent for vehicle registration and sending papers is about $20 millions, that sum may be saved, if all the data will be downloaded via mobile Internet.
But those were positive moments, there are lots of issues with those plates, we'd like to show. First of all, tracking those plates via speed cams will not be needed anymore, those plates will be able to gather info on speed limit violations and send them themselves. Another problem here is that as long as the use GSM frequencies to transmit data, that plate may be tracked via cell phone tower triangulation. We believe that those two issues are a rude privacy violation.
The problem is that what information will be gathered is not declared anywhere, so we won't know what data they will get from us. Senate has probably did that to avoid any suspicious moments, they probably remember the NSA spying scandal and would like to avoid the same. Implementation of electronic number plates will first touch only service vehicles, such as UPS and FedEX carriers and the first stage won't involve private vehicles. We hope that all the gathered information will be declared, so people will at lest know what private data they share.
Another privacy issue that will touch drivers are RFID based driver licenses. We've had a question on those at our wiki QA service and the problem with those is really important. So, New York is now second state of US, right behind Washington, that offers RFID based driver's licenses. It is obvious that those licenses will be rather convenient, while passing customs and highway tolls. All the data about the driver will be read remotely. The problem here is in the fact, that all your private data will be sent via unprotected and unencrypted channel, ready to be intercepted by third parties.
We see that driver's privacy is in danger now, so we have to protect it ourselves. To block both electronic plate and RFID license we recommend to use universal portable jammer with car lighter adapter. Your privacy is you top priority these days, make sure it is protected.