Malaysia To Introduce RFID Tracking For Every Vehicle

from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong? dept

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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  • identicon
    Captive Audience, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:17pm

    Oh Really?

    Method to disable tag without alerting authorities in 3, 2..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Klaus, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:33pm

      Re: Oh Really?

      Faraday cage. Tin foil might work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re: Oh Really?

        No need to get too creative and building specialized structures they are all around us. Pull the car into a corrugated steel garage or a conex shipping container. Mischief Managed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:56am

          Re: Re: Re: Oh Really?

          But it's awfully hard to drive a car around inside a shipping container.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh Really?

            Not when it is on a lorry, or latter on a ship, on its way to a foreign country, so that it can be sold to realise the profit from its theft.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh Really?

              But that's a different thing entirely from how to defeat the tags so that ordinary citizens can stop themselves from being tracked.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                tqk (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 5:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh Really?

                Not when it is on a lorry, or latter on a ship, on its way to a foreign country, so that it can be sold to realise the profit from its theft.

                But that's a different thing entirely from how to defeat the tags so that ordinary citizens ...

                Two different problems: profiting from stolen cars, and preserving individual freedoms.

                Once the non-destructive removal of tags is sorted, the first becomes easy. For the second, just add in consumers swapping loyalty cards. "I am Spartacus." "No, I am Spartacus!"

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh Really?

            Not when it is on the back of a truck :P I don't think anyone was suggesting driving the car inside a faraday cage. If you wanted to block the signal while you stripped a car or swapped the RFID chip with a counterfeit or even destroy the chip there is no need to build anything exotic was my point. I will concede that you could drive a car wrapped in aluminum foil but you would probably raise suspicions ;)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:55pm

      Re: Oh Really?

      Easier way is to pull or the radio fuse. Since it would have to be wired were it would shut off when the key is turned off (so it does not run down the battery), it would be wired through the radio, or "accessory" fuse, as it is sometimes called. Pulling that fuse would prevent the tracking device from working, and the authorities would never know what was going on.

      The only caveat is that you cannot use the radio, but it would be worth it to avoid government tracking.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me@me.net, 26 Aug 2015 @ 4:03am

      Re: Oh Really?

      My money's on something as simple as tin foil.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Klaus, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:30pm

    "It has been widely accused for invasion of privacy in Belgium, Italy, UK and US" - from the Sun Daily link above.

    I dispute this. I Googled "vehicle tracking in the UK" and got page after page of ads. Not a damn thing about widespread accusations of invasions of privacy. Thinking this was Google at it's finest, I checked out DuckDuckGo and got the same.

    Whilst vehicle tracking sucks whether by state actors, businesses or by jilted (ex)partners, it seems to be a thriving industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 12:29am

      Re:

      They meant RFID in general, not vehicle tracking. There's been pushes to add RFID to any number of things in the US and elsewhere that wound up not going anywhere because it represented an invasion of privacy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Klaus, 26 Aug 2015 @ 12:44am

        Re: Re:

        I do take your point, but I'm being a pedant today...

        "Interestingly, RFID technology has been criticised in many countries for its effectiveness to track vehicles movement and citizens."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      ..."vehicle tracking in the UK" and got page after page of ads...

      I'd bet all of those offerings were voluntary applications. The article is about an involuntary application.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:49pm

    One problem with any kind of tracking system is that it would need to be turned off when the key is turned off. This means it would be wired through the "accessory" fuse. One could simply pull that fuse out, and the GPS/RFID tracking would no longer work.

    You would not be able to use the radio, but they would not loniger be able to track you.

    Virtually all GPS/RFID tracking devices will be wired this way. This beats GPS or 2G/3G/4G jamming, as pulling out the radio fuse to shut down a tracking device does not break any laws anywhere around the world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:51pm

      Re:

      As a side not it will appear that the vehicle is not being driven, since the GPS or RFID unit would have no power and would not be able to report back its whereabouts.

      This is why mileage tax will never work. Someone who wants to avoid it can pull out the "accessory" fuse, aka the radio fuse, and the GPS tracking device will not get any power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Klaus, 26 Aug 2015 @ 12:32am

        Re: Re:

        "This is why mileage tax will never work."

        Granted it's a different technology, but London's congestion charging scheme is quite effective. It uses ANPR cameras which are damn near everywhere in the UK. If UK Gov. wanted to introduce a milage tax it wouldn't be much of a stretch.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Richard (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 2:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It uses ANPR cameras which are damn near everywhere in the UK.

          Not even close - they are very common on major roads and in city centres - but there are many miles of country roads where you won't see one.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            JoeCool (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 11:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And who cares about country roads? No one... other than the handful of people who live in the area. You track mileage where it counts - on major roads and in town.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          cameras will be the only way. If Britain uses GPS for mileage tax, one would be able to defeat that by pulling out the accessory/radio fuse, and the authorities would never be the wiser.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Re:

        This is why mileage tax will never work. Someone who wants to avoid it can pull out the "accessory" fuse, aka the radio fuse, and the GPS tracking device will not get any power.

        You're naive. If you don't show up on the system like a good little trackable object, you'll be assumed to be guilty and charged the max.

        The only way to win is not to play.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2015 @ 11:59pm

      Re:

      RFID chips get their power from the antenna signal that receives their information. You can't unplug them. And they won't be connected to the radio. And these ones will be readable by satellite .


      You could, though, just weld a faraday cage around it, if you knew where it was. Except that you can't as it's going to be in the registration sticker on your windscreen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 2:45am

        Re: Re:

        RFID chips get their power from the antenna signal that receives their information. You can't unplug them. And they won't be connected to the radio. And these ones will be readable by satellite .

        You could probably jam them with an active signal though.

        Also, reading millions of passive RFIDS by satellite just doesn't seem credible to me.

        The UK has just junked the licence disc and now relies on ANPR to detect unlicensed vehicles so it seems the decision has been made to use ANPR and not RFiD

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:05am

        Re: Re:

        "And these ones will be readable by satellite."

        This is interesting development in passive RFID tech - do you have technical specs on this modern day marvel?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Michael, 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, once they turn on the satellite that will be transmitting an RFID signal capable of powering millions of RFID tags at the same time, we will no longer need cell phone chargers because we could just power everything by this massive signal.

          I, however, am going to invest in sunblock or something because I don't want to be cooked.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Vidiot (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re:

        Simpler than a cage: The US "EasyPass" system gives users a means to protect their device from scanning if so desired (wrong vehicle, etc.)... a plastic bag made of metallicized mylar, similar to the anti-static bags most circuit boards and raw hard drives are shipped in. Imagine a little square of that taped across the windshield sticker.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:16am

      Re:

      The RFID does not need power. When the RFID chip passes over a sensor in the road/tower/building/airplane, the sensor reports to the police where the car is located.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:58am

      Re:

      Don't lump GPS and RFID together like that. They aren't even remotely the same thing. Different technologies with different purposes and different risks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 1:03am

    Oh, man, this resembles a cyberpunk RPG more every day it passes.

    2 Things about RFID:
    - Criminals will learn to disable the RFID tags. Or worse, to spoof them and nail others with the crime.
    - RFID tags can be used against normal people. Now you got a trail that you can use against anyone, like, you know, against someone you want to hijack. Or blackmail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 1:14am

    Can RFIDS be cloned? Just curious...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 1:46am

      Re:

      Anything that can be made can be copied, all that varies is the cost of creating the copy. Anything made in bulk, but given a unique id, like RFIDs can be obtained blank, and programmed at least once.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 2:40am

        Re: Re:

        Thanks for the info. This means Malayans can royally screw up this program if they so desire.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re:

        Anything that can be made can be copied...

        And this is why this RFID scheme is a bit like putting government-sponsored backdoors in encryption. All it takes is one person bypassing/spoofing the system, and the whole scheme collapses. If you can't trust one tag, you can't trust any of them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is also worth noting that all that is recorded is the presence of a particular RFID identifier, and the presence of a particular vehicle, and a particular driver is inferred from that single unreliable datum.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      "Can RFIDS be cloned? Just curious..."

      Generally, yes. It requires special equipment (that is readily available), but if you have that, then cloning is simple.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:28am

      Re:

      Not without putting corn farmers out of business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 10:41am

        Re: Re:

        Pop corn for all!!!! Just don't take it to the movies or they'll impound it during your gratuitous frisk err I mean security screening/theater. I guess; where better to put on a show than at the theater.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 3:15am

    Only peons need apply

    Of course it goes without saying that police and government vehicles(and any vehicle owned by anyone significantly wealthy or influential) will not be similarly 'tagged', as that would be a violation of privacy, and pose dangers which don't exist for the average citizen.

    No no, tracking citizens is fine, but tracking those that supposedly serve the citizens? That's completely out of the question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Old old idea, 28 Aug 2015 @ 12:41am

      Re: Only peons need apply

      While working for a specific government entity, there was a serious discussion for using RFID tags to track all the government vehicles. This had arisen because of the problems that had arisen in managing the government fleet and knowing where every vehicle was. There major concern was tracking the vehicles during business hours in relation to where they were parked.

      One aspect that was being looked at was the ongoing maintenance of each vehicle. At the time, the logging of vehicle information was being performed manually and there were considerable problems in maintaining this information accurately. My part in all of this was providing some technical information for the storage of the information collected.

      The RFID's were to be unpowered and to be located in various random places on the vehicle to prevent removal by unauthorised individuals. The suggestion made at the time was that there be a number of RFID tags on each vehicle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 3:41am

    Its a good thing and the privacy argument is crap because pretty much everyone has a phone that has the same tracking capability. This thing at least has some uses for the common people too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:28am

      Re:

      Good point. It's not like we can choose not to carry our phones with us at all times.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:10am

        Re: Re:

        It will soon become mandatory to keep your tracking device ... errrr I mean phone with you at all times and they will not have an off switch.

        Put it the microwave, no need to turn on the microwave.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 3:57am

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

    absolute fucking bull shit! we all know, just as they know in Malaysia, this will be another 'Big Brother' tactic designed to keep track of all ordinary, innocent civilians! criminals will get over this the same as they get over any and every other type of government spying. keeping tabs on ordinary people is far easier and far more desirable than anyone else. knowing when people are getting together for protests, for example, and where the protests are going to occur, gives the security forces the ability to prepare in advance to crush, and that's meant literally, any opposition to any and all government plans!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 4:54am

    Not what it sounds like?

    "cloned vehicle syndicates"
    You wouldn't clone a car, you wouldn't copy a song, you wouldn't use half of someone else's DNA to form a zygote...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 5:33am

    As part of the development phase, I recommend the vehicles of politicians be equipped first. You know, just to see how well it works.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      That would work as it's really really really popular to kidnap politicians and rich people in Malaysia. The police are corrupt, the politicians are even more corrupt and then there are the religious police who are bad news all around.

      On the other hand putting RFID tags on a car in Malaysia would be a good idea as the only people whose cars never get ripped off are the crooks' who do the ripping off.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:38am

    RFID vs. License Plate Scanners

    RFID readers would be a lot faster, cheaper, and just as egregiously intrusive on one's privacy as plate scanners. Sounds good to me! It would make tracking stolen cars, wives, husbands, boy/girlfriends, neighbors, and politicians much easier as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 8:37am

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but what's stopping them from taking it out with an EMP?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 9:32am

    Shouldn't Malaysia start out by putting these on their aircraft?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      touché

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Marc, 28 Aug 2015 @ 8:58am

      Re:

      Maybe for our privacy we should all abandon our cars and buy an aircraft or helicopter. At least we would be able to switch off the transponder, and when we disappear, they will search for us in the ocean, we will be at peace for years...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 11:02am

    Achieves the same thing as automated liscense plate readers

    Also, this same end could be accomplished with EZpass readers and collecting the signals from your tire pressure monitoring system. The mandated RFID sticker just makes it easier for the governmental agency in question to implement the tracking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 6:22pm

      Re: Achieves the same thing as automated liscense plate readers

      I would imaigne the tire pressure monitoring system also goes through the accessory/radio fuse, so that it turns off when the key is turned off, meaning that, too, could be defeated by pulling out the radio/accessory fuse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2015 @ 1:17pm

    Next: RFID in Malaysians' skin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    yankinwaoz (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:27pm

    Dogs don't use RFID

    Here is an idea. Rather than use RFID tags, why can't they just put good audio microphones at road checkpoints. The same place where they planned to put the RFID readers.

    Anyone who has owned a dog knows that your dog knows when you car approaches the house within a block or two. That must mean that each car has a unique audio print that doesn't vary much. Perhaps it is a combination of the car and how the driver operates the car. In other words, not just the sound the car and motor make, but the pattern over a couple of minutes as you approach your own home.

    Anyhow. Seems like using an audioprint as a second factor to identify a specific vehicle might be a good idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 8:58am

      Re: Dogs don't use RFID

      I remember reading a study about what sounds cue dogs that the owner's vehicle is approaching. It seems that it's mostly the high-pitched ones beyond human hearing range, and mostly the ones coming from the suspension.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Marc, 28 Aug 2015 @ 8:35am

    A new gadget for the police to abuse it's power!

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

    The true criminals are the police. They want to do anything to track people like beasts to rob them with rediculous low speed limit and expensive tickets. In Canada this has become a pest, with 100 km/h (62 mph) limit on highways that nobody respect, not even police officers themselves. When you drive, you never know when you will be hit by their lidar gun. It's like a lottery to lose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Number1Joe, 3 Dec 2015 @ 7:17am

    Ability to Read GPS (RF signature) Remotely

    I a GPS non-techi! Out with the guys & beers, a "heated" discussion arose on 2 qstns. 1) Can anyone clarify whether a vehicle's automaker built-in GPS identity be read/recorded by any other aftermarket devices then tracked/located by this ID? 2) If yes to 1), is this "blackmarket gear" or on the up-&-up like from JohnsonControls, Honeywell, GE, etc. PLEASE HELP!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    daver1981 (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:16pm

    east mesa az found track device in car

    2 days ago I found a weird device in my center consul of my car that was not there earlier then 4 days ago. I at the same time other strange things have happened that if I told anybody they would not believe me. Example this morning I woke up and the door key to my car was on the floor on the inside of my house at the front door. Went to find that the rest of my keys were not where I left them. They were on the floor next to my bed. Also now my car is not starting. I have had someone borrow my car this past wed/Thurs.I feel very violated and at the same time scared to say anything to authorities cause this group of aquants are dangerouse come to find out. . anybody have any advice on what to do? I have my issues but I'm not Involved in crime that would make me a cabaret for a tracking device. I no Longer am affiliated with these aquantences. But honestly fearful of my life right now. Thease are not people one should fuck with. What to do?........

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jams, 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:49am

    RFID has been accused for invasion of privacy and don't use it ? What a fool!Your phone can be monitored at any time,You're still using your phone!Use RFID to track vehicles and improve traffic,This is cool.Don't be a fool.
    just buy RFID sticker on http://www.asiarfid.com and use it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    joares18, 8 Jan 2017 @ 3:09pm

    Monitoramento de criação

    Any problems criar with tracking the government will already know, this should be independent. Has so many effective and inexpensive mobile trackers that the user never needs to worry web about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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