[LINK] Airport to tag passengers

Geoffrey Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Tue Oct 17 00:01:00 AEST 2006

rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au wrote:
> Geoffrey, straightforward questions deserve straightforward answers:
>> How does protecting the privacy rights of passenger usurp the 
>> Government and Industries issues and responsibility in ensuring the 
>> safety of passengers?
> This one simply looks like the wrong solution to the wrong problem. 
> What are the terrorist threats regarding air travel?
> - the hijacking of the aircraft itself for use as a weapon - not 
> particularly addressed by controlling movement of individuals within 
> the airport.
> - a suicide or similar attack within the airport - not particularly 
> solved by this.
> - the planting of a device in luggage. If it's in the luggage carried 
> by the attacker, the RFID doesn't much help prevent the attack. If 
> it's a 'plant' in luggage via baggage handling or similar, then you 
> need to secure those areas - diverting attention to tracking the 
> movement of the harmless traveller doesn't help.

I agree with your comments in that I also don't see how this RFID 
solution actually works or how it delivers benefits. I think its a dumb 
solution.... but this wasn't the question.

>> Also, no one has yet explained what rights are exactly at issue?
> The right, as the US judge once said, "to be left alone" when I'm 
> going about normal, legal and harmless activities.

But isn't this the point, that it isn't harmless, nor is an Airport a 
normal place. If it was, no one would bother.

>> How does it conflict with the 4 basic RFID privacy resolutions?
> Reverting to the original story:
> "1) data not linked to personal information"
> versus:
> "such as the possibility that people might ditch their tags to avoid 
> detection, or swap them with another person."
> So: how do you tie tag to the identity if you're not collecting identity?

Apologies, I should have quoted the first rule verbatim:
"RFID tags should only be linked to personal information or used to 
profile customers if there is no other way of achieving the goal sought;"

As you correctly point out, you cannot track someone, if you don't know 
who it is, as there is no other way of doing this. Hence the system 
satisfies the first rule.

> "4) able to delete or disable RFID tag "
> Fail.

Quoting verbatim again:
"individuals should be able to delete information, or disable or destroy 
any RFID tag that they have in their possession."

In this case they can simply remove it from there possession (disable). 
Again this complied with this rule.

>> What is the problem?
> In my view, the problem is a pointless solution, funded with 
> government money, which solves the wrong problem while snooping on the 
> wrong people.
> Historically, only one kind of state or government has made it 
> "normal" to watch as many activities of normal citizens as possible: 
> the police states. It is a fundamental premise of the totalitarian 
> state that it needs the maximum possible information about all 
> possible citizens' activities. People have a right to debate these 
> things and to resist needless intrusion.
> Moreover, it is not better, but worse, when the state and the 
> corporate entity combine in the intrusion into the life of the 
> citizen. That is nothing more than the "corporate state".
> People are right to resist the needless narrowing of the private; most 
> particularly, because experience tells us that "more control" does 
> *not* equate to "safer society". Oddly enough, freedom seems to be 
> best defended by more freedom (it's like the probably-apocryphal story 
> of a terrorist cell planted in Dee Why, when it came time to activate 
> them, the problem was that who wants to bomb things when the surf's up?).
> RC

I should have been more specific, what is the problem as it relates to 
privacy? What specific things is it violating if any.... other than 
being a dumb solution.

Geoffrey Ramadan

>> Regards
>> Geoffrey Ramadan, B.E.(Elec)
>> Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Australia (www.adca.com.au)
>> and
>> Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)
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