Washington State Reps. Pass Ban On RFID Skimming - InformationWeek

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2/15/2008
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Washington State Reps. Pass Ban On RFID Skimming

The bill also makes it a violation for businesses to retain personal information gleaned from RFID chips without card owners' consent.

The Washington State House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill that would make it a felony to steal information from RFID cards.

The bill (HB 1031) would make it a class C felony to intentionally skim information from RFID-enabled identity cards for fraud or identity theft. The legislation, introduced by State Rep. Jeff Morris, provides exemptions for health care givers and emergency responders.

It also makes it a violation for businesses to retain personal information gleaned from RFID chips without card owners' consent.

The state considered a similar bill last year, but it stalled. This year's version has been streamlined to take into account concerns of the business community, according to a legislative aide.

The bill removed a provision that required all cards with RFID technology to be labeled so consumers would know they contain the chips.

Morris, a Democrat, said RFID technology is useful for business and consumers, but it's important to make sure consumer privacy is protected as well. He said he introduced the bill to keep pace with emerging technology and the challenges it presents.

"We need to set some boundaries on what information could or should be shared with either corporations or criminals before the technology gets too far ahead of us," he said in a statement announcing House passage of the bill.

The House vote 69-27 in favor of the legislation earlier this week. The bill will go to the Senate for consideration.

The California State Senate recently approved a bill outlawing skimming as well. That measure also provides exemptions for emergency workers, health care providers, and unintentional skimming.

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