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Senator Raises Privacy Concerns Over New Tracking Technology

A new legislative package by California State Senator Joe Simitian targets governments, schools, and employers who use RFID, or radio frequency identification technology. Do tiny microchips compromise

Senator Raises Privacy Concerns Over New Tracking Technology

(Photo: RFID, iStockphoto )

Tom Fudge: What if you lost a child and the authorities could track and find him or her, using radio frequencies? Now, what if authorities could track your movements in the same way, and know whether you were attending, for instance, an anti-war rally. The monitoring ability of RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification, has become a very hot topic lately. So far, it's a debate that pits the electronics industry against privacy-rights advocates.


This year, concerns about the use of RFID have prompted State Senator Joe Simitian, of Palo Alto, to sponsor legislation. He wants to place real limits on the ability of authorities to use RFID to keep track of people and identify them.


  • Sen. Joe Simitian , democratic state senator representing California's 11 th District who introduced the RFID legislation. 
  • Valerie Small Navarro, attorney and senior legislative advocate for the ACLU of Northern California who supports the RFID legislation.
  • Roxanne Gould , senior vice president for California Government and Public Affairs for AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association), a "nationwide non-profit trade association that represents all segments of the technology industry" who opposes the RFID legislation.