Will California Derail FasTrak’s Dash to Big Brother?

The California state legislature passed a bill to protect travelers’ sensitive information from being loosed on the information superhighway.  But it still awaits the approval of the Governor. And as Oklahoma and other state’s have witnessed, it ain’t over till the champagne swilling CEO of the SIA belches.

Aug. 31, 2010—California has been issuing RFID transponders for electronic toll collection since 1993. . .

Currently, more than 2 million drivers across the state carry FasTrak transponders in their vehicles, in order to bypass long lines at tollbooths (the system deducts a toll from a user’s account each time an RFID reader mounted at a toll booth reads the tag of that person’s car). And the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern agencies are just two of many transportation organizations that use the tags for electronic toll collection.

No current California laws govern how such agencies are to handle the personally identifiable data linked to each FasTrak account, but the state’s legislature recently passed a bill, known as SB 1268, that sets down minimal requirements to ensure that a driver’s private data is protected.

California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, now has until Sept. 30 to sign the bill into law.

Simitian says he penned the bill so that the agencies that collect FasTrak data—which include the California Department of Transportation, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), the TCA and any other entity operating a toll bridge, toll lane or toll highway within the state, or any entity under contract with any of the above entities—would be required to follow consistent rules that lay out a minimum requirement for how long FasTrak transaction data can be stored on the various agencies’ computer systems.

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In 2008, Schwarzenegger vetoed a  bill that would have  required parental consent for RFID enabled school ID cards.  The bill would also have required schools to “inform parents about the use of the technology, how it works and the school’s plans for protecting students’ privacy in order to comply with privacy laws.”
“There were no [technological] limits called for in the bill, just consent.” remarked California State Senator Joseph Simitian, who authored the bill.

Now guess what???

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2 responses to “Will California Derail FasTrak’s Dash to Big Brother?

  1. As the saying goes ‘may you live in interesting times’ is sure coming true. Who would have thought that it might start in CA? Thank God I have a neighbor who has waken up. One at a time…Hope it’s not to late…

  2. Dear FasTak “Watchers”
    I did not know I had a FasTrk “chip” in my car and I was cited for non payment eventho I paid my bridge fee as I have for years

    Is FasTrak lame/Brain Dead/ why should I have to be cited and acused of something
    I DID NOT do
    Dean

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