Here on Techdirt, nationwide tracking schemes tend to raise a red flag. In Malaysia, by contrast, there seem to be no such worries, as ambitious plans to introduce RFID tagging for all vehicles, reported by The Sun Daily, indicate:

A new vehicle security tracking system suitable for all types of vehicles — the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) — will be implemented nationwide by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) by 2018.

According to the article, there are plenty of advantages of doing so:

This new system will enable the police and other authorities to effectively track down criminals

And:

the RFID technology will herald a new era for vehicle security in Malaysia and it could be the answer to combat vehicle theft and cloned vehicle syndicates.

Moreover:

the RFID can also be used to provide real-time monitoring on road traffic situation.

And if you’re worried that ne’er-do-wells might seek to avoid being tracked simply by ripping off said RFID tags, fear not, Malaysia has that covered:

theSun understands that the RFID tag is designed to shatter should any one attempt to tamper with it and can transmit a warning to the JPJ and police, should any one try to remove the sticker.

Sounds pretty foolproof. So why aren’t other countries rushing to adopt this approach?

Interestingly, RFID technology has been criticised in many countries for its effectiveness to track vehicles movement and citizens. It has been widely accused for invasion of privacy in Belgium, Italy, UK and US.

I just can’t imagine why.


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