Radio Frequency Identification: Applications and Implications for Consumers


Industry representatives have described the numerous benefits of RFID in today's workshop. But RFID is a classic information technology in that there is a potential downside as well. If the technology is implemented irresponsibly, we as a society could experience it not as a wonderful convenience with many social benefits, but as a tool for consumer profiling and tracking -- in other words, as one part of a larger surveillance infrastructure.

RFID Implementation in Libraries


We recommend that the library community conduct a comprehensive technology assessment of RFID as soon as possible to enable librarians to make the best possible decisions involving the implementation of this technology. Such a risk-benefit analysis would include an investigation of the potential privacy and civil liberties implications and the best methods to mitigate these harms.

RFID Position Statement of Consumer Privacy and Civil Liberties Organizations


RFID tags are tiny computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be affixed to physical objects. In the most commonly touted applications of RFID, the microchip contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC) with sufficient capacity to provide unique identifiers for all items produced worldwide. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, tags in the vicinity respond by transmitting their stored data to the reader. While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties.

RFID and the Public Policy Void


If ever there were a technology calling for an in-depth multi-disciplinary holistic analysis involving all stakeholders, it is RFID. Yet this technology has sprung upon the scene with little attempt so far to address its many probable adverse impacts upon society. It does not take a great deal of reflection to understand the profound privacy and civil liberties implications associated with RFID if indeed all the "things" of the world are uniquely identified and can be located and read at a distance.

Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues


The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

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