Brazil Mandates RFID For Cars Starting in 2014

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
brazil mandates rfid for cars starting in 2014

Psst! Hey, buddy! Do you want to have a complete travel/movement database for your automobile-using populace but don’t have the scratch for a a bunch of high-tech, privacy-destroying surveillance copcars? Brazil has an idea for you!

An article published last week in ZeroHora notes the details of the implementation: a five-dollar chip to be installed on the windshield will contain details of the vehicle which are otherwise observable — registration, vehicle make, model, fuel used, and other identifying factors. No owner data may be stored on the chip and the chip can only be used for EZ-Pass-style toll collection “with consent of the owner”.

It’s difficult to conceive of any legitimate use of these tags other than to plant RFID receivers in public areas and obtain personal trip information. Note that I didn’t say “for the government to plant RFID receivers in public areas and obtain personal trip information.” The nature of RFID tagging is such that it can be read by anyone with the correct equipment. The whole project seems less appropriate to Brazil the country and more to Brazil the film.

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  • SLLTTAC SLLTTAC on Aug 14, 2012

    Brazil doesn't have the same position regarding civil liberties that we have. Brazil has had in the last seven decades dictatorship and military juntas, neither of which was a New England town meeting. Second, in Brazil government, whether federal, state, or local, more or less works, but mostly less. Incompetence and corruption are the hallmarks.

    • See 1 previous
    • Stuki Stuki on Aug 14, 2012

      @moedaman Both. Plus anywhere else where there is a government.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Aug 14, 2012

    So how come I can't get RFID tags in my key fob, my cell phone, my tv remote control etc along with a reader so I can find my stuff? I can think of a lot of ways that private individuals could benefit from access to this technology. Instead it seems to be more about gathering information.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Aug 14, 2012

    For every need there is a solution. Just like Radar detectors....I can see companies making RFID jammers or even better, devices which will transmit bogus data. As other posters have already mentioned, RFID is EASILY defeated.

  • George B George B on Aug 14, 2012

    I already have an RFID chip on my car. It's called a toll tag. I originally got a toll tag because I was tired of the left arm of my shirt getting wet when I used cash to pay tolls in the rain. Over time using a toll tag became the lower price option for paying tolls and now all toll collection on North Texas toll roads is automated using either RFID toll tags or optical scan of license plates. The equipment to read toll tags, the computer networks, and customer databases are not cheap to install and maintain. In addition, you have to build toll roads so drivers are funneled through the toll collection point. If the goal is collecting money for road use, this system doesn't scale well for collecting smaller amounts of money from more drivers for shorter road segments. Fuel taxes are easier to implement.

    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Aug 14, 2012

      RFID tags are so cheap to make that companies already are implementing them in relatively expensive consumer product containers, especially in the pharma application (but they are most certainly going to be incorporated into the packaging of all consumer products, at at a cost of as little as 3 1/2 cent). As far as the hardware and network to read said RFID devices, sure it's more expensive, but economies of scale is going to bring that cost down dramatically, as well. We're all going to be tagged and tracked to an even more full extent (I'm speaking of raw data collection, stored forever) than we are now. There's no expectation of privacy in public places under any right of privacy that can be argued the constitution extends to the citizenry, according to the SCOTUS. I'd recommend doing some research on "Stellar Wind," which is a pretty immense data collection facility being built by the NSA as we speak (the scale and technology involved will boggle most minds) - it's not some 'tin hat' speak, but facts in action: The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center