One of the bills Governor Schwarzenegger has signed into law is SB 1268, another privacy-centric bill by Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian. Under the new law, drivers who use who use FasTrak or other automatic systems to pay tolls for bridges and roads (like the EZPass system on the east coast) will now have their records protected. The state cannot sell or share the data, which would include the location of the car identified by the FasTrak, and the time it was used.
The bill also requires purging of the data if not needed for law enforcement purposes.
In a press release issued yesterday, Senator Simitian said
Less well-known is the fact that the FasTrak cards are read by traffic monitoring systems throughout the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state to measure traffic congestion. Cameras that photograph license plates are also used to ensure tollpayer compliance by all drivers, even those who choose to pay by cash rather than use FasTrak.
“The net result,” says Simitian, “is that relatively obscure transportation agencies have personal data and travel histories for well over a million Californians, with no real meaningful legal protection from misuse of or inappropriate access to the data.”
Senate Bill 1268 becomes law Jan. 1, 2011.