“State legislators have been far too quick to believe “misinformation” spread by “the tinfoil hat crowd,” said Richard Varn, a consultant who counts RFID technology manufacturer HID among his clients.
Varn, formerly Iowa’s chief information officer, joined other industry advocates in urging chipmakers to drown out what they deemed a campaign based on fear, uncertainty and doubt. Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, for instance, started life as a way to oppose supermarket discount cards and has found a new cause in opposition to RFID. CASPIAN founder Katherine Albrecht has co-authored a book that’s described as outlining how RFID fulfills “biblical prophesies” in a way that’s “uncannily similar to the prophecies of Revelation.”
The industry agrees with privacy advocates that skimming information off RFID-laced documents should be a crime bearing strong penalties. But the panelists said they would urge state governments to make use of laws they already have. Many states, for instance, already prohibit theft of information via magnetic stripes on credit cards and other documents, so they could simply broaden and update those laws to make it clear that RFID chips are also included in that category, Varn suggested.”
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