Spy-chip in all European cars?

By EDRi · August 27, 2003

A few days ago, the Sunday Times revealed plans from British government
officials to fit all cars in Britain with personalised spy-chips. The
micro-chip will automatically report a wide range of offences including
speeding, road tax evasion and illegal parking. Roadside sensors will be
able to monitor all private cars wherever they travel.

But plans for Electronic Vehicle Identification (EVI) are not limited to
the UK. The European Directorate General Energy and Transport aims to
develop a standardised electronic, unique identifier for motor vehicles,
interoperable all over Europe. In December 2002 the Commission gave a
grant to the umbrella organisation ERTICO (made up of different
stake-holders in the field of implementation of transport telematics systems and services) to do a feasibility study. Results are expected in
the summer of 2004.

In February of this year an EVI workgroup was formed, consisting of the
Ministries of Transport of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Norway and
the UK, as well as ACPO (UK), KLPD (Netherlands), RDW (Netherlands),
Q-Free (Norway), EFKON (Austria), TNO (Netherlands) and ERTICO.

Both the Directorate General and the EVI workgroup seem confident that
they will overcome public resistance against the plans. According to the
website of the DG Energy and Transport, ‘there are not only the political
and strategic decisions to be taken, (but also …) societal issues to
be tackled such as privacy and security.’ The EVI workgroup describes
‘socio-political aspects like general acceptance’ as a relevant
non-technical issue.

Goodbye speed cameras, hello a spy in every car (subscription – 24.08.2003)

Commission workingplan Electronic Vehicle Identification

EVI workgroup