The State of California often takes the lead in identity theft legislation that benefits consumers. In 2003, it was the first state to require companies to notify consumers of data breaches. Last week, the California legislature voted to ban RFID skimming. According to the InformationWeek Mobility blog:
"The problem is real," said State Sen. Joe Simitian, a Palo Alto Democrat who introduced the legislation. "Millions of Californians use RFID cards to gain access to their office, apartment, condo, day care center or parking garage. Our passports now use the technology, and there is continued discussion about the possible use of RFID in drivers' licenses. Yet, up till now, there's been no law on the books to prevent anyone from skimming your information, and it's surprisingly easy to do." Simitian conducted an experiment in which his access card for the State Capitol was skimmed and cloned by a hacker in a second.
You wouldn't let a stranger go through your purse or wallet, right? RFID skimming of the credit cards and badges in your purse (or wallet) is the same thing. I've written previously about the threat of RFID skimming and reviewed one anti-skimming product I use to protect my RFID cards and badges.
Earlier this year, the State of Washington legislature passed an RFID Anti-skimming law. I wish that my home state, Massachusetts, was as proactive as California and Washington. I encourage you to write to your elected state representatives and demand an RFID skimming law for your state.