Responding to one of the newest technological fads with serious potential consequences for privacy rights, the General Assembly passed an ACLU-drafted bill barring the state or municipalities, including schools, from making use of radio frequency identification (RFID) devices on students, employees or clients. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the bill even though it had been amended to address concerns raised by some state agencies. Earlier this year, a disturbing story from California reported how one school district there was requiring students to wear RFID tags, which allowed their identity and movement to be tracked electronically. RFID technology has been used to track cattle and commerce, but the privacy implications of its mandatory use on people are extremely troubling. The bill will be pushed again next session.


Representative Charlene Lima