RFID in Libraries


CA SB1834 Passed - SFPL approves plans??

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:24 am

The California RFID Privacy bill passed its third reading yesterday. It has now been passed to the assembly floor where it was held. The Senate committee analysis dated 4/26/04 says that

The San Francisco Public Library Commission has approved plans to start tagging library books with RFID chips by 2005. Questions have been raised about whether the technology will give anyone with an RFID reader, including homeland security agencies and businesses, the ability to track and identify people and the library books they’re carrying.

That is news to me. I don’t recall that the commission approved anything, but I could have missed it during my skimming of their minutes. I thought that the consensus of the Committee was that it would consider the issues before deciding whether or not to approve the procurement. Can somebody from the Bay area bring me up-to-date? Note also that the Senate bill analysis doesn’t have any organizations on record as supporting the bill, but opposition has been given by organizations with business interests. If you’re in California and you support what Sen. Bowen is trying to do, get in touch.

RFID Journal has a detailed article discussing the legislation. They call the bill SB 2208. I don’t know where they came up with that. There’s no bill 2208 listed on the official California legislative information web site for either the Assembly or the Senate. The article also discusses upcoming legislative actions in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

1 Comment »

  1. You are correct. The reporter got it wrong.

    The SF Library Commission did NOT approve the use of Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs) in the library at its May 6 meeting. The Commission merely authorized SFPL to include enough funds in the 2004–05 budget to continue exploring this new technology. In fact, the Commission stated in the strongest terms that the item’s inclusion in the budget in no way commits the library to RFIDs. Even this budget request is subject to approval by the Mayor and Supervisors.

    The Commission also specifically directed SFPL to continue to work closely with privacy and technology experts such as the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation as it moves forward.

    Comment by Deborah Doyle — 5/10/2004 @ 1:20 pm

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