Electronic toll collectors.Credit: Wikipedia user Nate
For those who frequently drive on toll roads on the East Coast, getting an E-ZPass saves both time and the need to have a cup holder filled with quarters for the commute to work. The same is true of similar systems, such as TxTag in Texas or FasTrak in California.
All of these, as well more than a dozen other systems in North America, work using radio frequency identification (RFID). The passes communicate with readers at tollbooths, and the readers both debit the passes' prepaid balances and keep a record of when and where the transaction occurred.
However, that recordkeeping raises privacy and security concerns. Police can use electronic toll-collection information to track a person’s whereabouts. Divorce lawyers can also use the records in court.
"It's an easy way to show you took the off-ramp to adultery," one divorce lawyer told the Associated Press in 2007.