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New California law prohibits skimming

An anti-skimming law went into effect in California Jan. 1. According to the Consumer Federation of California, SB 31 by Sen. Joe Simitian prohibits the reading of a contactless ID card without the individual’s knowledge and consent. The law covers cards issued by government agencies, health insurance companies, schools and others.

The federation claims that unauthorized readers can “surreptitiously read and skim the personal information stored on a device—such as a birth date, digital picture, or unique identifier number—all without the knowledge of the RFID holder … which can be used to facilitate identity theft or to stalk and track the whereabouts of an individual.”

Read more here. The bill was signed into law in October at the same time that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another Simitian measure that would have placed restrictions on RFID-enabled cards.  

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