NH takes steps to limit RFID use


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Manedwolf
January 2, 2006, 07:55 PM
And yes, this does apply to guns. Imagine if the brady crowd mandated that all new firearms must have an RFID chip in the reciever and to remove or disable it was a felony. I think it could happen. :barf:

And this is why I like NH...

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Bill aims to slow RFID in its tracks

By PAT HAMMOND
Union Leader Staff
Sunday, Jan. 1, 2006

George Orwell, in his 1949 political novel “1984,” envisioned a society in which the state’s powers were omnipotent and omnipresent.

Readers — usually high school seniors fulfilling a required reading assignment — shuddered over an oft-repeated warning in the novel that “Big Brother,” as the eyes of the state were called, “is watching you.” But we, the younger generation, believed that no such over-arching breach of privacy would ever become a real threat.

Perhaps the Orwell readers were wrong. Technological developments have advanced the science of identifying people and things in invisible ways. For better or for worse, consumers are leaving tracks that are useful to manufacturers and sellers of products who are seeking a database on their buyers.

New Hampshire could be a national leader in consumer privacy protection if legislation endorsed by the House Commerce Committee is adopted this month.

Prompted by worries that developing technologies that use radio waves to identify both physical objects and human beings are gaining popularity in big businesses such as Wal-Mart, House and Senate members have collaborated on the language for what could be the model for legislation of its kind in the nation.

Critics of the use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) computer tags by manufacturers or distributors to track the buying habits of people who purchase their products say they may seem benevolent enough now but there’s real potential for misuse down the road .

Defenders of the computer tags — tiny microchips that are embedded into a label attached to the products — say they promote efficiency by enabling retail outlets to maintain up-to-the-minute product inventories and speed up the checkout process for the customer (in some cases, the customer can avoid checking out altogether).

The House Commerce Committee unanimously recommended passage of the bill, HB 203, in the form of an amendment that replaces the wording of the bill with a new version addressing concerns raised in the public hearing.

The bill:

* stipulates that no consumer product or identification document (such as a credit card or ATM card) to which a tracking device has been affixed, may be sold without a label containing a universally accepted symbol. The requirement also applies to packaging of the product.

* requires that identifying labels be affixed to the product or document or its packaging by the entity that implants the tracking device in the product or by the entity that imports products that contain tracking devices.

* prohibits anyone from implanting tracking devices into human beings without the informed consent of either the individual or a legal guardian.

* prohibits the state or any of its political subdivisions from issuing any radio frequency devices to track individuals, with exceptions such as incarcerated prisoners or residents of nursing or assisted-living facilities.

* establishes a commission on the use of tracking devices to study their usage in government and business and monitor their effect on the economy and society.

* puts clout in the law by setting penalties for violations, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

Curtis J. Barry, who lobbies for the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire, said, “Many of the proposals made in the (original) bill that were onerous and burdensome on retailers were not included in the bill as it now reads, but we still have some concerns about the wording and continue to question the necessity” for the bill.
Fears ‘unfounded’

“The technology is years away from being placed broadly on the item. Right now it’s being used on pallets, for shipping purposes,” Barry said. “Until that time it doesn’t make sense to make laws that apply to something down the road, especially on the state level when laws that apply to products sold nationwide might differ from state to state.”

Barry also argued that many people are now using this technology in their daily lives — in entering a public parking garage, for instance, or using their E-ZPass or MobilExxon SpeedPass.

Barry also noted that a product with a radio frequency chip embedded in it won’t emit a signal unless it receives a signal from a reader that has the same signal and language and has that product already in its database.

“Many of the fears are either unfounded or the sources (of the fears) have gone unchallenged,” Barry said.

“Customers should understand there are many different technologies, RFID or EPC (electronic product code), and their applications will be no different from the way bar codes are done today except they can ID specific products,” Barry said.”

It benefits both the consumers and the retailers, Barry said, by speeding up service at the counter, making for easier recalls and returns, and reducing the occurrences of products being out of stock by assuring quicker replacement of items.
‘Potential for good or evil’

Rep. Neal M. Kurk, R-Weare, was active in the legislation that was originally sponsored by Rep. Howard C. Dickinson, R-Center Conway.

“I wanted to go further,” Kurk said of the amended bill, “but the committee was not of a mind to do it. These devices have great potential for good or evil for society.

“One of the negatives is these could readily be used to track people,” Kurk said. “Michelin is thinking of embedding them in their tires. They (the devices) could tell you if the tires are subject to a recall, and they could be embedded in other auto parts as well.

“But a reader, in a shopping mall, for instance, could track (the computer chip in) somebody’s clothes, and who I am, and offer certain kinds of products,” Kurk said.

Katherine Albrecht is the founder of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering). The New Hampshire native, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, believes that retail surveillance is increasingly invading consumers’ privacy.

“I am pleased with the legislation,” Albrecht said, noting that much of it is based on a model law CASPIAN developed called the “RFID Right to Know Act of 2003” which called for labeling RFID-embedded products and packages.

Albrecht said at least half a dozen states have rejected legislation addressing privacy issues raised by radio frequency technology.

Albrecht said as far as she knows there are no readers in New Hampshire, but there are plans to place them in shelving and floor tiles and to weave them into carpeting and walls so there is no way of detecting them.

Wal-Mart launched the issue last year, Albrecht said, by requiring their top 100 suppliers to use RFID tags on crates and pallets going into Wal-Mart warehouses.

A group of more than 40 privacy organizations called on businesses to levy a voluntary moratorium on the practice of tagging items (as opposed to pallets) and all but Wal-Mart complied, Albrecht said.

“Wal-Mart has a bad track record in its prior use of RFID,” Albrecht said.

For instance, Wal-Mart set up a shelf with a Procter & Gamble lipstick at a Wal-Mart in Broken Arrow, Okla., in 2003, Albrecht said.

When a customer picked up the product, it triggered a picture of the woman interacting with the lipstick, Albrecht said. Proctor and Gamble and Wal-Mart both denied the allegation. “But they used it to spy on shoppers,” Albrecht said. “Wal-Mart has a poor history of using this (technology) in a bad way.

A call to Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters in Arkansas was not returned.

”NCR supplies cash registers for all Wal-Marts,” Albrecht said. “NCR came out with a document on using RFIDs. They described, for example, using RFID tags on things people wear into stores to identify them and then to change the price of the product they were buying by either lowering or raising it, depending on whether they wanted to encourage or discourage the consumer from buying it.

“Like cookies on the computer,” Albrecht said.

“IBM has taken out a patent for the person tracking unit,” Albrecht said, “hiding the RFID readers in the environment. Every object has a serial number. This (chip) would link the serial number with your identity when you pay for the product. Say the product is a shoe. In the future it could pick up that shoe knowing you are wearing it, and track you.”

Albrecht said there is concern that the technology could spread to public areas like sports arenas, elevators and restrooms, to track people.

“We (CASPIAN) identified two unacceptable uses: item-level tagging and to track human beings,” Albrecht said, “and industry is planning to do both.”

“Wal-Mart has basically thumbed its nose on that recommendation,” Albrecht said. “The concern is that Wal-Mart has crossed that item-level line in the sand and has steadfastly refused to acknowledge those threats. The concern is that it is irresponsible and dangerous because it has the potential to track you wherever you go.”

“The concern of the committee,” House Commerce Committee chairman Sheila T. Francouer, R-Hampton, said, “is that we not do anything to stop the beneficial effects but we want to prevent the intruding aspects of the technology.

“It’s a good first step,” Francouer said of the bill, “and to establish a commission is another important first step.”

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AirForceShooter
January 2, 2006, 08:00 PM
At least Somebody is ahead of the curve.

AFS

Standing Wolf
January 2, 2006, 08:24 PM
New Hampshire is the "Life Free or Die" state, if I'm not mistaken.

Zundfolge
January 2, 2006, 08:29 PM
New Hampshire is the "Life Free or Die" state, if I'm not mistaken.
And the chosen state of the Free State Project.


I'm all for this kind of law but even more important would be a federal law that prohibits any government agency from forbidding or criminalizing the disabling/removal of RFID devices from ANY consumer product by the end user.

Flyboy
January 2, 2006, 08:32 PM
The more I read, the more I want to move to New Hampshire.

Manedwolf
January 2, 2006, 08:38 PM
The more I read, the more I want to move to New Hampshire.

I just like that we seem to keep having, in the legislature, old-style republicans that aren't neocons, and old-style democrats that aren't leftists. I mean, look at this, we have republicans introducing a bill that flies in the face of corporate desires, and on other issues, we have democrats that defend gun rights.

That's nearly unheard of, these days.

exoduster18
January 2, 2006, 10:12 PM
I'm moving to New Hampshire.....I think, how are their gun laws? Is it anything like Texas? I want to move their to.

Waitone
January 2, 2006, 10:27 PM
Product labelling--check
Packaging labelling--check
Informed consent before being implanted--check
Regulator commission--sorta check if completely independent of commerce
Established penalties for violation--check

Now where is the part about the store being required to offer a means of destroying the device before leaving the store? Big, big hole in the plan. Joe and Martha Sixpack must be able to identify and destroy chips.

I can buy off onsome of the commercial aspects. But I want lead pipe controls over all usage. I want complete freedom to destroy RFID technology once title to the goods is transferred to the consumer. This technology could easily get out of control. :scrutiny:

HighVelocity
January 2, 2006, 10:34 PM
I don't think there's sales tax in NH either. Or was it that vehicles don't have titles. I don't recall which.

The whole RFID think has caused me to buy extra Reynolds Wrap. If they start putting chips in that I'm doomed. :neener:

another okie
January 2, 2006, 10:45 PM
Pay cash.

yonderway
January 2, 2006, 11:37 PM
I took a very serious look at picking up and moving my family to New Hampshire in 2005. This is in spite of my intense dislike for cold weather. I love liberty more. I like the idea of the Free State Project and wanted it to work.

I think they just picked a bad state.

New Hampshire does not have a thriving economy and job market of its own. It just seems to be a bedroom community state for people to live in that will actually work somewhere else, like Boston.

Massachussetts is on my "red flag" list of states to avoid. I couldn't move to NH knowing that I was just going to end up driving to MA every day.

Had the FSP picked a state with a more robust economy of its own, with a viable and diverse job market, I would have moved.

As it stands now, I'll be moving (back) to North Carolina in less than a month. No, it's not the free-est state in the south (perhaps that's Texas?) but it'll do.

(Virginia was right up there on the list, too... the work of the VCDL has been spectacular in recent years and I'm hoping to see some of that momentum inspire gun owners in NC to do more)

Manedwolf
January 3, 2006, 01:02 AM
I'm moving to New Hampshire.....I think, how are their gun laws? Is it anything like Texas? I want to move their to.

CCW is just not being a criminal and giving $10 and a form to your local police department, and the forms are PDFs you can print from the web. You'll get it within a couple days. The state laws are VERY common-sense as to what you can use deadly force for, and favor citizens, not criminals.

No gun registration at all, just cursory background check for purchase at shops and shows. And no sales tax on those, even. :D

Just don't cross the MA border with any guns on your person or in your car, is all.

Manedwolf
January 3, 2006, 01:07 AM
New Hampshire does not have a thriving economy and job market of its own. It just seems to be a bedroom community state for people to live in that will actually work somewhere else, like Boston.


S'cuse me?

Tell that to BAE systems with their massive Nashua campuses and buildings, thriving and with thousands of employees in defense electronics.

Or all the new office parks full of bio/medical and biotech, because it's cheaper than MA. Or all the old mills being converted to high-tech office space.

Or, let's see...ever buy anything from PC Connection? They're headquartered there. New England's largest Budweiser plant is there, and it's absolutely huge. It's also got a really nice, big airport that's all skylights and plasma screens that's doubled in size in the last few years. Areas like Amherst and Bedford, the average housing starts are a million dollars plus, and people aren't commuting to Boston, they're commuting to new industry in the area. Bedford has a "Technology Drive" with lots of high-techs, including the company that makes the Segway scooters.

NH is not a bedroom community for MA blissninnys, sorry. :barf: Only some border cities like Salem, maybe, since it's on 93 that goes straight into Boston, but everyone I know lives AND works in NH.

rick_reno
January 3, 2006, 01:13 AM
What's the weather like in New Hampshire? ;)

gezzer
January 3, 2006, 06:11 PM
What's the weather like in New Hampshire? ;)
Cold and Snowing!!!! Super skiing, Snow machining, Cross country, all fun.

No sales tax, No income tax

NFA friendly, easy sign-offs are the norm.

Thefabulousfink
January 3, 2006, 06:35 PM
It reminds me of when I was growing up and all the Punks in my school were ranting that UPC's (the barcodes on the stuff you buy) were used by global corporations to controll and influence society. I guess we weren't that crazy.

Just because you are paranoid, doen't mean that they are not out to get you.:eek:

oweno
January 3, 2006, 06:52 PM
Yup, neither a sales nor an income tax - summer is really nice up here, both weeks of it. Winter is followed by mud season, then black fly season. Fall is, seriously, really nice.

Unofficial state motto: Mind Your Own Business

whm1974
January 3, 2006, 07:42 PM
And yes, this does apply to guns. Imagine if the brady crowd mandated that all new firearms must have an RFID chip in the reciever and to remove or disable it was a felony. I think it could happen.

So what would happend if the chip got (wink)fried(wink)? You know, by EMP or lighting storm...

-Bill

benewton
January 3, 2006, 08:00 PM
Somebody forgot leaf peeper season...

There really should be a visa requirement on M???????s!

dustind
January 4, 2006, 09:10 PM
New Hampshire is arguably the most pro gun state in the union. They do not have Alaska/Vermont carry, but after getting the $10 permit you have more gun freedom than any other state.

molonlabe
January 4, 2006, 10:07 PM
a microwave is very effective at disabling those chips:)

Manedwolf
January 5, 2006, 10:08 AM
New Hampshire is arguably the most pro gun state in the union. They do not have Alaska/Vermont carry, but after getting the $10 permit you have more gun freedom than any other state.

I prefer to call it "pro-freedom". They assume that CCW holders are not going to abuse or misuse the trust given them to carry a weapon...and pretty much universally, they're right!

When I'd picked up mine from the local police headquarters, (which is a state-of-the-art facility with two dispatch consoles that look more like they belong in an FAA center, dimmed room with overhead spot tasklighting, huge leather chairs, pair of big flatpanel screens for each station showing cruiser locations, maps and address info and all), it was handed over with a smile by a relaxed person who took the $10, signature, and said "There you go, all set, have a nice day!" No suspicion, no treating citizens like criminals.

NH, BTW, also has a clause in its use-of-deadly-force law that specifically addresses a private citizen ASSISTING a law enforcement officer at the officer's request. "(d) If he is a law enforcement officer or a private person assisting him at his direction and was acting pursuant to RSA 627:5, he need not retreat." ...addressing the must-try-to-retreat bit and justification for using deadly force in general.

Treating people with respect and trust tends to encourage them to live up to that trust, I think. And to me, it does wonders for feeling like part of America as it was meant to be to know that instead of just a bellow of "police business, return to your home, sir", that, if the situtation and need arose, a private citizen trained in proper firearms use could be asked to assist law enforcement in dire circumstances. That there is recognition that firearms-experienced law-abiding citizens can also, if the situation demands it, be useful in protecting the innocent from criminals and predators. Isn't that what the original idea of "militia" was about? Expecting that good Americans could help keep the peace if the full-time keepers of the peace were overwhelmed by a situation?

If you enjoyed reading about "NH takes steps to limit RFID use" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!