Last Tuesday, a speed camera in a nearby Belgian town saw a car with my car plate driving at 105km/h where speed was limited to 50 Km/h. The problem is: at that time, I was at my office in Luxembourg, 50 kilometers away from the road where the picture was taken.
I have enough witnesses who can testify I was at the office and I trust the Belgian courts to finally come up to the conclusion it was not me, but rather someone who copied my car plate. This being said, this identity theft is the source of a lot of complications and it will cost me some time in the coming weeks in all sorts of paperwork. And I will not get compensated for the loss of time, money, etc.
Car plates, especially the Belgian ones, are easy to copy, enough to fool a speed camera. They are by no means a reliable way to identify a car, much less a driver, just like e-mail addresses are not a reliable way to identify the real sender. For e-mail, we added things like S/MIME, PGP and DKIM to somehow make the process more trustable.
What could be done for cars ? Could we inbed RFID chips in the car so it can be traced by these cameras ? On the other hand, there have been reports that RFID chips are easy to crack and reprogram.