California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed Senate Bill 768, saying it was “premature” and could hamper state agencies from acquiring “technology that could enhance and streamline operations…” The controversial bill would have imposed technology regulations on RFID-enabled ID cards and public documents.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, (D-Palo Alto), had earlier passed California’s House and Senate. Senator Simitian had referred to his bill as “look before you leap” legislation.
“SB 768, which would impose technology regulations on RFID-enabled ID cards and public documents, is premature,” said Governor Schwarzenegger in his veto message. “The federal government, under the REAL ID Act, has not yet released new technology standards to improve the security of government ID cards. SB 768 may impose requirements in California that would contradict the federal mandates soon to be issued,” he added.
“In addition, this bill may inhibit various state agencies from procuring technology that could enhance and streamline operations, reduce expenses and improve customer service to the public and may unnecessarily restrict state agencies. In addition, I am concerned that the bill’s provisions are overbroad and may unduly burden the numerous beneficial new applications of contactless technology,” the governor concluded.
During that proposed three-year waiting period, Senator Simitian had wanted the technology to be studied so that alleged ethical issues regarding the use of RFID could be debated. The bill had the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union and privacy organizations.