A few weeks ago, we noted how well-known security blogger Bruce Schneier bought into the story about using Nike+iPod devices to track runners' movements -- even though doing so is wholly impractical. Schneier used the story to say "there oughta be a law" requiring companies to build some sort of undefined "security" into these systems, saying that laziness prevented people from considering the security implications of these sorts of devices. As we pointed out, what seemed more likely was that the manufacturer determined the actual threat from the devices was negligible because the information they give up is pretty worthless, and it's difficult to collect it in a meaningful way, so adding in some sort of security mechanism is pretty pointless. Now, Schneier's found a company using RFID to monitor tire pressure in cars, and is reiterating his call for some sort of law covering RFID and other similar technologies. Again, though, there really doesn't appear to be much of a threat here: "tracking" a car via these tires would require either the placement of a ridiculous number of RFID receivers, or staying within a relatively close distance of the car, where a person could simply watch the vehicle with their eyes. Movement in and out of a particular place could be recorded, but again, there are plenty of other ways to get this information. Burdening manufacturers with unnecessary regulations and mandating security that adds complexity and cost when it's not necessary will do very little to actually improve security when it does matter -- an example, it would seem, of what Schneier labels security theater when it pertains to airports and terrorists. Still, if you see anybody driving around with tin foil over their tires, at least you'll now know why.
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