China To Track Citizens’ Cars With RFID Chips
Big brother isn’t going away anytime soon. China is establishing an electronic identification system to track cars nationwide, according to records and people briefed on the matter, adding to a growing array of surveillance tools the government uses to monitor its citizens.
You can run, but you can’t hide. This sounds super creepy to me.
Starting on July 1st, when residents register cars, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags will be attached to windshields to track the vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reports. While car owners won’t be forced to add the tags immediately, all new cars will need to have them installed starting next year.
By installing RFID chips on the windshields of new cars, and reading devices on the side of China’s roads, government officials reportedly hope to be able to study and improve congestion, therefore helping to reduce pollution — a major priority for China’s president Xi Jinping. They also hope to use it to help stem the rise of vehicular terrorist attacks, according to documents reviewed by the WSJ.
Of course with all that pollution in Beijing, I don’t know how this tracking system is going to work.
Supposedly, when cars are registered, a system will log license plate numbers and the vehicle’s color, the report says. The RFID chips will be read by sensors installed along roads by the government and feed data about the vehicle’s location and owner back to the Ministry of Public Security.
The system can also detect anyone using a fake license plate to enter areas they’re prohibited from accessing due to pollution concerns. Pilot RFID projects started in 2016 in Wuxi and Shenzhen. The latter stored the plate number and vehicle color, but not other personal information, promising on its government website that “the security of citizens’ privacy will be ensured.”