SACRAMENTO, CA – California could soon become one of the first states to create comprehensive safeguards for personal information collected through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging in government-issued documents and identification cards, according to ComputerWorld. The state legislature last month passed legislation, called the Identity Information Protection Act of 2006, to protect residents from RFID abuses. The law is expected to be signed or vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by the end of the month. State Sen. Joe Simitian, who sponsored the bill, said that the measure would prevent both government and criminal abuse of information stored on RFID tags. California is one of a number of states attempting to establish protections around RFID usage — which many critics say has a huge potential for invading the privacy of citizens. The proposed California law requires that state and local governments protect data stored on RFID chips through measures such as encryption. The law forbids what is known as skimming — the reading of an RFID chip’s content without the holder’s knowledge, according to ComputerWorld. Schwarzenegger is expected to make a decision on the bill on or around Sept. 30, according to a spokeswoman for the governor. The proposed law is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials