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Calif. RFID Bill Headed for Governor's Desk

www.govtech.net | September 5 2006

The California State Senate has approved Bill 768, the Information Protection Act of 2006, in a 30-to-7 vote. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger now has 30 days to sign it into law.

The bill, authored by Senator Joe Simitian, would require the California Research Bureau (CRB) to conduct a research study into the use pf RFID in government-issued "remotely readable identification documents" and the security and privacy implications of the use of the technology.

To advise it on the technology and its application in identity documents -- everything from driver's licenses to library cards -- it would also need to create an advisory board composed of government officials and representatives from industry and privacy-rights organizations. SB 768 also sets forth a number of interim rules describing the data security measures that state agencies seeking to deploy RFID in IDs before the arrival of the study would need to follow.

The bill (which was initially introduced as SB 682) originated in the Senate last year and had already been approved by the Senate before coming up for vote in the Assembly this year. While in the Assembly, the bill went through a number of amendments -- including the removal of a moratorium on the technology -- requiring it to go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote on the changes.

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