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In Brazil, All Vehicles Must Have Radio IDs By 2014 161

morcego writes "Brazil's National Traffic Council (CNT) published Friday a resolution that institutes the National System of Automatic Vehicle Identification (Siniav). According to the Q&A published (Google translation from Portuguese), only 'visible and public' information will be available (vehicle year or fabrication, make, model, combustible, engine power and license plate number), without any personal information about the owner or registration data. This system will be mandatory for all vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc) and should cost vehicle owners approximately R$5 (less than US$3)."
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In Brazil, All Vehicles Must Have Radio IDs By 2014

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  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:37AM (#40955631) Homepage Journal

    certainly much simpler than spending gazillion dollars on cameras with ocr for the plates, like what's being rolled out in western world.

    • by gtirloni ( 1531285 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:59AM (#40955721)
      I don't want to disappoint you but Brazil is pretty much in the "western world" too. And it has lots of cameras with license plate reading tech for speeding tickets, etc.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. In the UK, this information is already written on the tax disc on the front of every car. A radio chip would be much cheaper as you'd only need one for the life of the car, plus all of the information is linked to the central database anyway making tax discs mostly worthless.

    • by SourceFrog ( 627014 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @06:05AM (#40955733)
      Why yes, I'm all for more efficient methods for re-creating 1984.
    • let's hope they do things like let people store medical information on these radio ID's, not just things that make it easier to collect money.
      If someone were to get in an accident but be able to indicate they're a hemophiliac, for example.

      • That's exactly the kind of info you don't want on your car. That should be on a bracelet on your person. Putting only info useful for tax and tolls means it never had to be rewritten and it's restricted yo stuff that's already publicly viewable. You have to reference the registration database to come up with private information about the owners.
        • Hrm? If I had relevant medical information that may affect how I need to be treated for emergencies I'd like that information to be posted everywhere possible . I'd rather minimize the chance that I die due to something stupid.

          That's not the same as "I have nothing to hide" but having medical information tied to accident information which can easily be obtained would make sense.

    • ...and it will improve the accuracy of drone strikes as well.
  • Hm. An RFID chip to be installed on the windshield in Brazilian heat? Surely, nothing could go wrong.
    • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:10AM (#40955961)

      we have tollway rfid devices in Australia that sit pretty much in the hottest part of the cabin, and they do just fine for the lifetime of the battery (~5-10 years). Are you seriously suggesting that they haven't thought of this??

      • We're not talk about the "hottest part of the cabin". From the TFA, the requirements are that all cars must have an rfid in the windshield. We are not talking also about tollway devices where one can simply replace it if it malfunctions. The purpose of these devices are to track stolen cars and unclaimed loads. Making this mandatory is to assume that the chip will never malfunction. And yes, I'm seriously suggesting they haven't thoroughly thought out the repercussions fully just as they have not thoroughl
        • The purpose of these devices are to track stolen cars and unclaimed loads

          And there was I thinking the purpose was to facilitate Mafia hits on rival drug lords. My bad.

          • The purpose of these devices are to track stolen cars and unclaimed loads

            And there was I thinking the purpose was to facilitate Mafia hits on rival drug lords. My bad.

            In Brazil, those two statements are redundant. ;)

      • Why should they have batteries? Passive transponders fill the bill.
        • by jamesh ( 87723 )

          Why should they have batteries? Passive transponders fill the bill.

          I'm not sure about the proposed rfid devices in Brazil. The ones we use in Australia (called e-Tag) also beep (one beep = okay, two beeps = funds low, etc) which requires a battery. An active transponder is much more likely to reliably transmit a signal back from the distance required too (our readers are a significant distance above the road to allow for high vehicles etc), with multiple vehicles being scanned at once.

          If in Brazil they are using handheld readers that work at close range then yes, batteries

          • Because cameras with enough resolution to reliably read license plates in the field are a heck of a lot more expensive than single-channel radios. I can build a receiver that can do the job for under $20 in mass production. I know because I've done it.
            • by jamesh ( 87723 )

              Because cameras with enough resolution to reliably read license plates in the field are a heck of a lot more expensive than single-channel radios. I can build a receiver that can do the job for under $20 in mass production. I know because I've done it.

              Are the cameras more expensive than a million $20 transponders though? What about 10 million?

              The other thing I didn't mention is that they already have the cameras set up to catch infringers, and out-of-towners are allowed to get a "day pass" for their occasional trip to the city, which doesn't require a transponder. If your transponder doesn't respond (eg you left it in the glove box or in another car) then the number plate recognition ensures that you still get billed, plus an extra $1 per toll point for

  • for what purpose? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:43AM (#40955653)
    Why would you want such a thing? Humans can't read it and it sounds like criminals can easily swap tags or fake tags if they want to disguise themselves. License plates at least gave you the option to report a driver that caused an accident. At best, this is useful for statistics about vehicle usage, not for individual tracking, taxing or that sort of thing.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:46AM (#40955659)

      A national toll road system can be setup now. Tolls can be made billable to the vehicle OWNER since they have the license plate number..

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      Why would you want such a thing?

      Maybe you should have read TFA? It contains a section conveniently titled "What are the uses of the system?"

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )
      I can imagine it would help with driverless or computer-driven cars. It makes collision avoidance easier when moving objects you are likely to hit are broadcasting a signal you can detect. This doesn't have speed or position information, but a computer could at least detect them and then start looking harder for "large truck, diesel powered" using other collision detection methods.

      Its a national standard so you only need 1 radio receiver for all cars. I don't know how the signal is set up, but maybe i
  • by LaZZaR ( 216092 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:52AM (#40955679)

    This means you are trackable.

    • by gtirloni ( 1531285 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:57AM (#40955697)
      Not exactly 100% efficient since the _car_ is trackable but I get the point. Same thing with your cellphone though.
    • by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:57AM (#40955703)

      Bingo. All the previous posters are wrong. This is the *only* purpose.

    • by Some Guy ( 21271 )

      I'm confused.

            License plate /= registration data

      How do you divide a license plate by registration data? (And you're missing a semicolon, so it won't compile anyways.)

    • It means that if someone sets a private "listening" station, they will get no more data that they could have get just looking at the car.

      Only the people with access to the vehicles registration database(i.e. the state) could make a match with additional info (owner, address, and so on).

      • Correct. And it is the same for any typical RFID -many of which raise alarms and whatnot. If you are only able to READ the tag, then you gain no more information than if you physically put eyes on the object and eyeballed the barcode.

        That is pretty much all you can do unless you have access to the database.

        And if you don't, then scanning the barcode or RFID or vehicle RFID is not overly useful or risky to privacy. Maybe you can gather some data about passing traffic or something and key a billboard to fl

  • For people (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @05:57AM (#40955699)

    I think it will not be long before it will be mandatory for persons as well here (Netherlands).
    They are now putting fingerprints and other biometric parameters in your passport and identity card, and it is mandatory to carry it whenever you are outdoors.
    The next step will be to implant the RFID chip.
    It is now being tested with pet animals, next will probably be farm animals, and when this does not cause any obvious health problems you will be required to have a chip implanted with your identifying information.

    All for the sake of the war on terrorism.

    • I doubt implants will be common. While it is common to brand cattle you do not see people getting branded even in more autocratic or totalitarian regimes. Same thing applies to these sorts of implants.
    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      You better let a government agency pick up your kids for you. Because damn if you go pick them up at the kindergarten yourself!

    • Have you seen the amount of hardware most young people have implanted in various and tender parts of their bodies? If you can stick a stud in your tongue or navel a small RFID in your forearm will be nothing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What a CNT of a requirement.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Johnny Mnemonic: Yeah, the Black Shakes. What causes it?
    Spider: What causes it?
    [points to various pieces of equipment throughout the room]
    Spider: This causes it! This causes it! This causes it! Information overload! All the electronics around you poisoning the airwaves. Technological fucking civilization. But we still have all this shit, because we can't live without it. Let me do my work.
    - []

  • Bloomberg just released an article relating to car theft in Brazil: [] So who's the manufacturer?
  • by tmcb ( 2136918 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @06:14AM (#40955753)

    Well, car thefts are quite frequent in some Brazilian cities, so it's not surprise that most people won't see anything wrong on that apart from paying 5 bucks for the thing themselves. Some people will even see this as a good thing; well, it's an extremely cheap car tracking service!

    There were really few contrary opinions to the resolution. Mr. Raul Jungmann, national representative, filed a request for its suspension [], alluding to privacy concerns, but no final solution was given to the matter since 2007. It had no big repercussion on media, too. That's how things work in Brazil: these stuff get approved with enough antecedence, but become news just over the deadline. I can't say if it's intentional, but it really seems so.

    • Of course the car thieves will have no way to just remove that chip on stolen cars ...

      • by tmcb ( 2136918 )

        Oh, of course they can't do that in any way! It would be a crime!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The police cars will have receivers for those trackers, so, if a policeman sees a car that doesnt emit rf sinal or wich emits the wrong plate number, "bingo, this is a stealed car, lets stop it".

          • The police cars will have receivers for those trackers, so, if a policeman sees a car that doesnt emit rf sinal or wich emits the wrong plate number, "bingo, this is a stealed car, lets stop it".

            My passport is supposed to give of an rf signal too. That was until my fat ass sat on it.

          • Of course, there's no way to change the plate at the same time as the chip.

      • Sensor and camera at every intersection. Car pulls into warehouse, identical car with unregistered chip pulls out, cops pull it over before it goes ten blocks. If a $400 phone can lead police to the robbers house a $20000 car should be able to.
      • Of course the car thieves will have no way to just remove that chip on stolen cars ...

        That depends on the type of thief doesn't it? Dumb ass thieves, the same kind that don't change out license plates won't change out chips either. Smarter thieves however, will.

  • Boa sorte!

  • I bet a cousin of a curtain politician has a company with thousands of those devices preordered and in stock. I also bet that there are only a few brands of these devices allowed in the brasilian market, those brands already exclusive to curtain cousins of active politicians. And the show must go on...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Absolutely true, but is there really such a big difference between company-owned-by-the-cousin-of-politician (Brasil) and company-that-promised-cushy-consulting-job-to-politician-after-he-retires (USA)?

      Don't kid yourself. Democracy today is totally corrupt everywhere, it's just that the corruption in the US is on much larger, more industrial scale than the family-oriented nepotism of Latin America.

      • Hmm it seems Brasil needs to upgrade their Corruption v1.1 software to USA's model, Corruption v2.0. It's funny that so few people spot the trick... and so much more want into the deal when they find out about it. It so seems that the only solution for mankind is in evolution, a new breed of mankind that is lacking the ability to lie and cheat their way to success. Thankfully this is already happening, with statistics showing a new generation of humans with Aspergers syndrome and similar disorders on the ri
      • The company is Kapsch.
  • by cheros ( 223479 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:27AM (#40956031)

    I can see RFID work in such an application, as long as they are write-once. Otherwise I'd give it a week before everyone is Spartacus :).

    RFIDs are actually more practical than ANR - less horsepower required to read, and no games with "accidentally" leaving mud on the plates (however, if they cannot be read very quickly there may be an issue). However, I can only see this work with vehicle attached RFID - license RFID should be separate or you'll have to leave the chip open to reprogramming, which is IMHO where the problems hide here (as above :).

    I was actually waiting for something like this to happen - vehicle ID hasn't seen progress since VINs. However, as always I'd be worried about privacy implications - with ANR there is already enough discussion.

    • You only have to provide the cops with a reader. At any police control, check if the data from the radio checks the one you can see (after all, all the data will be public/visible, according to TFS). If it does not match, fine/inmovilize the vehicle/whatever.

      • by cheros ( 223479 )

        Fine, maybe, but immobilise?

        Such radio signals MUST be read-only. *Any* ability to influence a car from a distance is *extremely* bad news and should not even be considered. It's bad enough that it is already possible today with some vehicles..

        I would not even like to *near* a vehicle that can be remotely shut down, let alone inside it.

        • Neither me or the post talks about remotely controlling vehicles. I meant "immobilize" in the old sense of having the driver stop, getting the keys, etc., as a way of discouraging tampering with the device (as an alternative to fines).

    • It's considerably less hassle than ANPR, because ANPR only tells you the car's registration number. Reading the article, this won't hold the registration (which you probably don't care about) but will hold the VIN and a certain amount of technical data. If you used ANPR you'd have to pull all that down from a database somewhere.

  • Clone it, zap the original, leave hidden clone in car for daily tracking.

    Spoof different RFID and keep in Faraday wrap.

    Swap as desired.

  • by betterprimate ( 2679747 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @09:46AM (#40956623)
    The chips will be supplied by Kapsch ( [] ). These chips/devices are similar to the E-Z Pass in the NorthEast U.S. They are notorious for malfunctioning... [] [] [] [] The difference is that these are mandatory. If they do malfunction, how would it affect an innocent individual?
  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:29AM (#40957403)

    Identifying people like this, and it does identify people, should be very helpful for kidnappers and terrorists. Now they'll be able to setup automated booby traps.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:30PM (#40965099)

    I never understood the no personally identifiable information meme. Broadcasting a unique ID becomes quite personal when the data is aggregated and mined. Even if the IDs are themselves encrypted in a way that prevents unique discrimination without a key that same key or group thereof would need to be hidden in hardware in all other vechicles making compromise of all or parts of the system assured. Further since this system is being guarded by secrecy and NDAs, not subject to public scruitny of professionals its security properties will undoubtably suck.

    Two observations:

    Since these devices will be mandatory and everyone will have one and know about the system why would anyone assume a criminal would not immediatly destroy or disable the device upon taking a joyride in your vechicle or otherwise escaping authorities due to prior criminal activity? The standard you would be surprised at how stupid people are defense only goes soo far.

    The second and more serious issue is that some people..unfortunatly way too many live in constant fear of injury or death from crazed x's and assorted stalker psychos. This system puts everyone in this category at unecessary increased risk.

    Further what happens when someone decides to start attaching the receipt of an ID to an explosive trigger?

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor