California’s legislature is considering a bill to authorize adding radio tracking beacons to drivers licenses and state non-driver ID cards.
Each such card would broadcast a unique tracking number which could legally be intercepted by anyone with a suitable radio transceiver within range, and which would be linked to a national DHS database of drivers license, state ID card, and citizenship information.
The tracking beacons are designed to allow the tracking numbers on ID cards carried by travelers in motor vehicles to be read from outside their vehicles as they approach or pass through checkpoints.
Independent academic studies of actual ID cards issued by other states, using the same standards proposed for use in California, have found that they can sometimes be read from more than 50 yards away.
S.B. 397 has already been approved by the California Senate, and is now under consideration in the Assembly. Because it has been amended by the Assembly, it will need to be reconsidered by the Senate (to decide whether to accept the Assembly amendments) if and when it is approved by the Assembly.
To date, S.B. 397 has been largely unopposed in the California legislature, and it is likely to be approved unless legislators start hearing a groundswell of opposition from their constituents.
What excuse is being offered for this scheme? And what’s its real purpose?