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The governator passes anti-skimming RFID law & veto’s student RFID consent law

It seems the bulk of the original article has been picked over by many people, all of which ended up making good points. The bottom line in that article is that in California, governor Schwarzenegger has made it illegal to read RFID tags without the consent of the user/carrier… and that concept is really at the heart of the RFID debate… consent. Because RFID is contactless, it’s difficult to ensure consent, which really is the genesis of the whole debate in my opinion.

But when it comes to children, that’s where consent gets complicated. By law, minors cannot sign contracts and they cannot give legal consent. Now a law has been passed in California that makes it illegal to “skim” data (obtain without consent) from an RFID tag/card without the carrier’s consent. The SB 29 bill that was vetoed would have required notification and “parental consent” for school programs that tagged children with RFID devices/tags.

The actual wording on the SB 29 bill looks something like this: “SB 29 would require the affirmative consent of a parent before a school could compel a student to carry an RFID-enabled device that is designed to track that student’s physical location, or record his or her attendance at school.”

Consent, or in this case “parental consent”, really means that parents would be giving the schools permission to tag and track their children (track by reading RFID tag data). Parents who gave consent would have been allowing two things; 1) allow the school to require their child to carry a contactless RFID device, and 2) giving their child’s consent (by proxy) to the reading of the data on that RFID device.

However, because the schools are not required to obtain consent from parents, and children cannot legally give consent; aren’t those schools that choose to deploy this technology without obtaining consent from parents are in effect breaking the anti-skimming law governor Schwarzenegger just passed?

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