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I recently got a FasTrak to use for my occasional trips across one of the bay area's many exorbitantly priced bridges.

Upon opening the package I found that it came with this little silver bag. If you've ever bought a PC component of any kind, you will recognize this as an anti-static bag.

The FasTrak's instructions state that if you do not want to be charged or have your whereabouts monitored by the Bay Area Transit Authority, you can put the FasTrak inside the bag, which will prevent it from transmitting.


I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about electricity, but come on, a static bag doesn't stop radio signals. They may as well tell you to wear a tin foil hat to keep the G-men out. I guess they figure that you'll just never know if it's working or not?

(My guess is that the bag doesn't do much, but the transmitter is so weak that it's not going to charge you anyway unless you drive slowly through a toll booth. The bag wouldn't stop it transmitting any more than a sock, or your glove box. Or, perhaps it's enough just to not have it on your windshield, which it can't be if it's in the bag.)

Amusingly, the FasTrak device is also hideously insecure. It's probably not been much of a debacle because the radio signal is probably too weak to be interesting. Does anybody know?

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