Are RFID Embedded Drivers Licenses Bad?

Illustration for article titled Are RFID Embedded Drivers Licenses Bad?

There has been a lot of talk about the new initiative to start including RFID chips in national identification cards or even in state-issued drivers licenses. Earlier in December four states — New York, Arizona, Washington and Vermont — agreed to begin using the Real ID RFID system in driver's licenses. Basically, it is a chip stored in the DL and anyone with proper equipment can find out any and all information about your DL by just being within a 30-foot radius. Sound a little intimidating? Some of us may, but well, I don't think it is.


RFID ID identification is the future, regardless of what concerns are being expressed about privacy. This unified system will make it easier than ever to deal with the agonies that accompany uptight ID security. Needing to show the ID at the supermarket when paying with a credit card, or getting into bars, or any other inconvenience will be less of a hassle now that a machine will know you are you without having to pull out the card and give it to the hands of a scummy bouncer or clerk.

Even when dealing with authorities the RFID-embedded IDs will help. It will help keep people off the roads that shouldn't be there. And during stops it will increase efficiency with the ID information being automatically beamed to the officer, rather than requiring the officer to scribble down your information and harass you about your current address for 15 minutes.


I welcome the widening net of social control and our new RFID overlords. It could be because I am lazy, or it could be more for potentially greater safety and security on the roads. How long until I can get an RFID chip implanted in my skin? That's the real question, and maybe it's just because I have nothing to hide and I realize that transparency of information transfer is the lubricant of efficiency. [Engadget]

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@TomTheHand: Don't forget that most places have a "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason" policy, so if they request you show your ID, and you don't, they can just tell you to bugger off. It's not because of Visa's policy they'd be doing it, but because of their own.

That being said, I think the RFID blocking wallet is a good first step. Sticking to driving my 36 year old MG is a good second step, as I know they'll never put anything in there without my consent (unless they integrate it into the license plate, then a set of fake, but real-looking license plates, are in my future).

For those of you who are bored (or avoiding work) on this glorious Friday, head over to [] and do a search for 'RFID.' Very entertaining.