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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

RFID privacy concerns hot up

Radio frequency ID – the use of radio microchips to track product (and people) - is a hot topic at present. The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a draft report citing few benefits and significant privacy impacts from use of the technology to track people. The Canadian Federal Privacy Commissioner in her just released Annual Report expresses serious concern that the technology is rapidly expanding corporations’ ability to spy on shopping habits, track items in homes and allow the government to monitor the movement of immigrants.

Some voices suggest that privacy friendly RFID is within our capabilities. Former Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton (now with Information Integrity Solutions) says in “The Revolution of RFID Challenges and Options for Action: a consumer perspective” that consumer backlash against the technology already evident in Europe represents a failure to adequately manage risk and communication with the public.

Another one for the Australian Law Reform Commission?

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