Published on October 6, 2004 By Lenbert In Politics
This is "late breaking" news, so my references are weak.

There was an item on the news this afternoon, stating that the Virginia General Assembly is currently reviewing a Bill that would place a miniature transmitter in the State's drivers licenses. This transmitter would "broadcast" the information on the drivers license and only persons with the appropriate hardware and software would be able to read the information - presumably local/state police, CIA and/or the FBI.


Has anyone read "1984" by George Orwell?

I am not a "tinfoil cap" person. I am not one for "black helicopters" or "men in black". However, I see how technology has been creeping into our lives. As an example, the bar-coded grocery store discount cards that you use. The cashier swipes them at checkout, you pay for something for $2.50 that was normally $3.60, and the items that you purchased ends up in a database somewhere. I don't have a problem with that. If they want to know how often I buy toilet paper, then they can approximate how many times I take a crap every day. If they have an intense interest in that little tid-bit of information, then hey, go for it.

Pay (expresway, bridge) tolls. For those of you who have pay tolls in your area, and you have the opportunity to subscribe to a "pre-paid" service, you put money into your service, you get a little device that you attach to your vehicle, and then your money is automatically deducted from your account every time you use the toll. When you paid a toll and where is recorded in a database somewhere. I don't have a problem with that. If someone, some where, feels the need to track where I travel, then hey, go for it.

Yet, regardless of my apathy for the above examples, it is just two examples of how "tracking" technology has crept into our everyday way of life, and how the apathy for this technology has crept into our everyday way of life.

The idea of putting a wireless transmitter in MY drivers license, certainly does not leave me with a "warm and fuzzy" feeling. I'm sure it would be short-range. I do not believe that it would have enough power to be able to transmit to a satellite, GPS or otherwise. But what defines "short range". If some digit-head has the hardware and the pirated software on a laptop in a mall, and I walk by them - BAM! They have my information. "What" information is encoded in the drivers license is unknown. Age, sex, eye color, hair color and address doesn't worry me. But what about my social security number?

I can see where this technology would be beneficial for those States who wish to issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Or issuing drivers licenses to released pedophiles. But for the general public?

No. That is too much information that is too readily available. If this Bill passes, my drivers license may have to make an accidental trip into the microwave oven (for 20 seconds at high power)."

on Oct 06, 2004
Hmm interesting. I agree that *anything* the government can do, hackers can do and steal information. That w could be a boon to some stalker/hacker.

You just couldn't keep anything secret forever. Some cop with that stuff may go bad and sell technology to mafia ( or any criminal group ). Hackers could steal technical info and duplicate the reader. There is endless possibilities.