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Privacy, “the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world,” is classified as a right, a privilege or an obsolete curiosity, depending who you ask. RFID News editor John Wehr traces privacy from its first legal definitions to today’s automatic identification reality.
As a historical battleground for intellectual freedom, libraries serve as a cultural litmus test for technological development. Librarian Laura Smart examines the evolution of RFID materials flow systems and the privacy debate that has risen in their midst.
Rarely does a technology predicted to be decades away cause the controversy surrounding item-level consumer goods RFID. This discussion weighs the merits and limitations of a technology set to replace the barcode and change the way we shop.
An Accenture study found that more than half of consumers said they had not done business with a company because of its inadequate privacy protections. Organizations must address their own practices as privacy moves to the forefront of cultural awareness.
In this month’s tech focus, Andy Williams talks to the leaders of three companies hoping their unique technologies will carve out portions of a market dominated by silicon RFID chips.
RFID News asked several organizations about RFID’s media image, the prudence of legislative efforts and privacy best practices. Click on any of the following quotes to read the full interviews.
- “In most cases, asking how a company exploring item-level RFID tagging can protect their customers’ privacy is like asking a fox how he can best ensure the safety of your chickens.”
Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN
- “Businesses need to do more to educate the general public on the uses, benefits and issues about the use of RFID, fostering constructive solutions to their concerns.”
Dan Swartwood, Hewlett-Packard
- “Much of the early work and publicity surrounding RFID was focused much too far into the future and on applications outside of the supply chain.”
Jack Grasso, EPCglobal US
- “[Auto-ID Center, now EPCglobal] documents detailed how such a campaign may unfold, citing the need for the development of a proactive plan that would ‘neutralize opposition’ and ‘mitigate possible public backlash.'”
Cédric Laurant, EPIC
- “Technology itself does not stand still. People are always engaged in finding ways to help technology improve their lives and make their jobs and personal lives more efficient.”
Patrick Burns, VeriSign