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20 November 2003

'Stop RFID'

TechWeb reports that many consumer, privacy and civil liberties groups - including the EFF and Privacy International - have endorsed a position statement on the development and use of RFID.

In this position statement, they identify the following threats to privacy and civil liberties:

  • Hidden placement of tags
  • The creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer
  • Massive data aggregation, which could be linked with personal identifying data
  • Hidden readers
  • Individual tracking and profiling, without transparency or consent

    And recommend the following minimum guidelines:

  • Openness, or transparency... Labeling must be clearly displayed and easily understood.
  • RFID users must give notice of the purposes for which tags and readers are used.
  • The collection of information should be limited to that which is necessary for the purpose at hand.
  • Accountability. RFID users should be legally responsible for complying with the principles.
  • There must be security and integrity in transmission, databases, and system access. These should be verified by outside, third-party, publicly disclosed assessment.

    Finally, they suggest the prohibition of these practices:

  • Merchants must be prohibited from forcing or coercing customers into accepting live or dormant RFID tags in the products they buy.
  • There should be no prohibition on individuals to detect RFID tags and readers and disable tags on items in their possession.
  • RFID must not be used to track individuals absent informed and written consent of the data subject.
  • RFID should never be employed in a fashion to eliminate or reduce anonymity. For instance, RFID should not be incorporated into currency.

    Found via RFID Privacy Happenings

    Posted at 01:59 PM in Identities for things | Permalink

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