Wednesday, November 7, 2007


DC EXAMINER - Privacy advocates are alarmed by a D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles initiative to embed SmarTrip computer chips inside every new D.C. driver's license, making it easier than ever to track D.C. residents on their travels through the transit system. The DMV will spend $830,000 a year to install SmarTrip chips in all driver's licenses and identification cards starting in October 2008. . .

SmarTrip does, however, provide Metro and the government with a system to follow users, though Hazel said the agency "has no intention to track [a] person's movements on the Metro system." People who read this also read:

"If you're paying your fare with it, they're going to have the ability to know by name who entered each Metro station at what time and who exited a Metro station at what time," said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. "That can be used by the government to track your comings and goings. It's an absolutely awful idea."

Metro's policy is to release Smar-Trip information to law enforcement purposes, or at a cardholder's request. . .

Melissa Ngo with the D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center said D.C. is "setting up an infrastructure where the government can track you all the time."