“Lawmakers in California have scheduled a hearing for later this month to discuss privacy issues surrounding a controversial technology designed to wirelessly monitor everything from clothing to currency.
Sen. Debra Bowen, a California legislator recently on the forefront of an antispam legislation movement, is spearheading the Aug. 18 hearing, which will focus on an emerging area of technology known as radio frequency identification (RFID)”
“Katherine Albrecht, the head of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (Caspian) … is scheduled to testify at Bowen’s hearing, as is Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearing House, a non-profit consumer advocacy group in San Diego.
Givens said retailers should be required to notify consumers about merchandise containing RFID chips and that they should not only disable, but destroy, the chips at the checkout counter.
She said: “It’s troubling that MIT and other developers of RFID appear to have left privacy to the last minute.”
Also expected to speak at the hearing are Dan Mullen, head of the trade group Association for Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technologies, and Greg Pottie, an electrical engineering professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. Pottie is involved in the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, a program out of UCLA funded by the National Science Foundation.
Bowen’s office has also invited key members of MIT’s Auto-ID Center, a research group that has been on the forefront of RFID development, to participate in the hearing. The group has yet to accept or decline the invitation, Bowen’s office said.”