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Tracking systems may be put on cars

The Daily Texan reports that State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, isn’t happy that one-quarter to one-third of all Texans drive without automotive insurance, according to his research. He aims to change that with his proposed House Bill 2893, which includes a subsection that some find disturbing: the addition of an electronic tracking and identification system onto each vehicle.

The RFID tag would transmit a unique frequency that would show the vehicle’s make, model, identification number, the title as registered with the Department of Transportation and whether or not the driver has insurance coverage. The proposed law also makes clear that the state will create a database of insurance provider and coverage information, keeping track of who has what insurance policy and whether it is paid or not. Scott Henson, a Texas American Civil Liberties Union police accountability and homeland security specialist warns:

The language opens up the whole tracking system for any conceivable law enforcement use,” Henson said. “Once that happens, Texans’ cars might one day appear as electronic dots on law enforcement’s computer mapping screens.

The transponder lets the government track you wherever you go, whether to visit your grandmother, secretly visit a gay bar or drive to a medical supplies office, whatever.

Philip Doty, associate director of the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute at UT-Austin goes to the heart of the matter:

In post-Patriot Act America, people have lost awareness of the little changes that lead to a chain of effects that restrict us politically and individually.

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