The EU Commission has delivered the results of a public consultation on RFID, which highlighted security and privacy issues, but stopped short of proposing legislation. However, the commission has decided to set up an RFID stakeholder group, consisting of citizens, scientists, data protection experts and businesses, to address concerns about the technology. The group will run for two years. The commission will also issue guidelines on RFID use by the end of the year.
The survey found that 55 per cent of respondents to the consultation see legislation as the best solution to privacy concerns, while 70 per cent expect safeguards to emerge from privacy enhancing technologies. "RFID will only be able to deliver its numerous economic and societal benefits if effective guarantees are in place on data protection, privacy and the associated ethical dimensions that lie at the heart of the debate on the public acceptance of RFID," the report said.
There is increasing concern over the use of RFID tags, which potentially allow tracking of individuals and the compromise of personal data. Additionally, the inclusion of RFID in both US and UK biometric passports has caused a furore, following the realisation that the radio-emitting chips could be read from a distance and are easy to clone.