One thing that certainly still isn’t clear is what positive impact RFID will offer that will compensate for the $2.4 million price tag. The argument as it stands is that it will save some $11 million in lost revenue of people who have invalid licensing. Unfortunately, this sounds a lot like a solution look for a problem which will be demonstrated by the two following scenarios.
Scenario 1: The current system
Police officers setup a checkpoint at the Aquarium to pull people over and do license checks. This involves a covertly placed police officer with a notepad to look at licenses on windshields, write down license numbers and radio officers at the aquarium to pull them over.
The downside? It’s blatently obvious that a checkpoint is setup at the aquarium whenever traffic backs up all the way to shelly bay market place. The simple solution for a license offender? Turn around.
Scenario 2: The RFID way
Police officers setup a checkpoint at the Aquarium to pull people over and do license checks. This involves a covertly placed police officer with a notepad and wireless RFID reader to detect whether RFID tags are working on windshields, write down license numbers and radio officers at the aquarium to pull them over.
It has the same downside of increasing congestion and in reality, you still need officers to make sure people have RFID tags installed and active on their cars. If the tag removed, an automated scanner won’t pick up anything unless you replace the officer with a notepad with a car sensor of some sort, but then you wouldn’t be able to record the license plates in the case they tried to speed through the checkpoint.
RFID in it’s present form will save the expense of one officer and a notepad. For $2.4 million it’ll take us an officers whole career to regain the invested cost.
So? What have we learned? RFID in it’s present form is a solution looking for a problem. That is unless there are covert plans to introduce automatic speed detection, congestion taxes and automated parking after the election. Of which these will only punish the law abiding citizens among us who actually go get fitted with RFID tags as those who don’t will still have to be caught the old fashioned way.
Mind you, many likely would be all for reasonable methods of introduction including automated ticketing for those traveling faster than 70kph, a 6 month trial of the congestion tax to prove whether the people prefer it to congestion itself and well, automated parking you can’t argue with that.
The fear is that there is a grand vision that only resides in the minds of a select few and the rest of us aren’t important enough to be privy to the intentions until it’s too late. Even worse, if RFID is used maliciously to track individuals.