02 July 2009

EU - 'Right to the silence of the chips' in the new EC Communication

(EDRI-gram) A new communication from the European Commission to the other European bodies on the RFID (radio-frequency identification) titled "Internet of Things - An action plan for Europe" was made public on 18 June 2009. The communication builds on the work of the Recommendation on the use of RFID. The communication includes a 14-point action plan to address the main issues raised from the RFID usage. One of the most important action point is the launch of "a debate on the technical and legal aspects of the 'right to silence of the chips', which has been referred to under different names by different authors and expresses the idea that individuals should be able to disconnect from their networked environment at any time." The European Commission also announced that in 2010 it intends to publish a broader Communication on privacy and trust in the ubiquitous information society.

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12 May 2009

EU - Commission Recommendation on RFID privacy and data protection

(RAPID)
There are already over 6 billion smart chips, microelectronic devices that can be integrated into a variety of everyday objects from fridges to bus passes. With Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, they can process data automatically when brought close to 'readers' that activate them, pick up their radio signal and exchange data with them. The European Commission adopted a set of recommendations to make sure that everyone involved in the design or operation of technology using smart chips respects the individual's fundamental right to privacy and data protection. see Commission Recommendation of 12.5.2009 on the implementation of privacy and data protection principles in applications supported by radio-frequency identification C(2009) 3200 final. see also RFID: Radio Frequency IDentification: Frequently Asked Questions and Citizen's summary.

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21 August 2008

2008-09-22 EU/US, Washington D.C. - RFID symposium

(Europa)
U.S.-European Union RFID symposium, 22 September 2008 - 23 September 2008 Washington D.C. As part of the framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration between the European Union and the United States, the U.S.-EU Summit Leaders identified priority growth projects that will significantly enhance transatlantic economic integration, growth, and job creation. One of these "Lighthouse Projects" is Innovation and Technology, and cooperation on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies was singled out for specific joint action. As part of this joint action in cooperation with industry stakeholders, the United States and the European Union two days of RFID events have been planned.

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24 February 2008

EU guidelines on RFID aim to protect privacy

(Reuters)
RFID chips embedded in items ranging from pets to retail products will have to be deactivated at the point of sale to protect purchasers' privacy under draft guidelines proposed by the European Commission. A public consultation is being launched into the "soft law" guidelines that EU information society and media commissioner Viviane Reding hopes will be adopted by the European Union executive to be applied in all the bloc's 27 member states. The consultation will be open until 25 April. The Commission services will then analyse the received contributions and put forward a draft Recommendation for adoption before the summer of 2008.

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01 April 2007

EU - RFID chips will force changes to Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive | OUT-LAW.COM

(OUT-LAW News)
The European Commission will make changes to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive to take account of the exploding market in radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, it has said. Amendments will be proposed by the middle of this year. The Commission has published a Communication, intended as 'a step towards a policy framework,' for dealing with RFID chips, whose usefulness is seen by some to be at odds with privacy and data protection.

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19 March 2007

OECD - Mobile Commerce ? consumer issues and policy challenges for a promising market

(OECD)
Mobile commerce is a promising market both for consumers and businesses. However, consumer troubles and complaints are increasing and can sometimes become serious, including issues for minors. Member countries? experiences show that we should ensure that consumers benefit. In particular, countries may review their instruments with regard to a more effective scheme for information disclosure, liability protection over SIM and RFID cards, effective notice to excessive consumption, and the importance of consumer education. Businesses may also consider more effective consumer protection schemes. see also Mobile Multiple Play: New Service Pricing and Policy Implications. This paper provides an overview of the evolution in mobile multiple play services (voice, data and video) and raises relevant regulatory and policy issues. The mobile infrastructure is being upgraded as 3G network coverage expands and as mobile broadcasting networks are being developed.

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18 March 2007

EU - Public to shape smart tag policy

(BBC)
European citizens are getting the chance to shape policy on smart tags. The European Commission is setting up a group made up of citizens, scientists, data protection experts and businesses to discuss how the tags should be used. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags store data about the objects they are attached to, and are already used by some firms and supermarkets. See Commission proposes a European policy strategy for smart radio tags (Europa).

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28 December 2006

2007-03-13 EU, Brussels - RFID Forum

(Europa)
March 13th and 14th 2007, Conference Centre Albert Borschette, Brussels. This conference will concentrate on the following two objectives: 1) Identification of research needs from RFID towards the 'Internet of Things' with respect to different application areas; 2) Act as a platform for continuing the dialogue with the RFID stakeholders on an European level. After the opening by a keynote session, two streams will be run in parallel, focusing on academic research and development, and on an industry and technology forum. The conference will be concluded by a panel session, providing concise summaries and recommendations. Papers are welcomed in all related areas that focus on original research, development and experience. All papers submitted in this convocation will be published in the proceedings. Submission deadline: February 9th 2007. See call for papers

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27 October 2006

Most countries issue passports with radio tags

(CNET News)
Despite security and privacy concerns, all but three of the countries required by the U.S. to issue passports with radio tags are now doing so, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday. Except for Andorra, Brunei and Liechtenstein, all of the 27 countries whose citizens can travel to the U.S. without a visa are now issuing "e-Passports," the department said in a statement. The passports include a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip with the holder's information and a biometric identifier, such as a digital photograph.

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16 October 2006

EU - RFID: Why we need a European policy

(RAPID)
Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. EU RFID 2006 Conference: Heading for the Future, Brussels, 16 October 2006. see also Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID): Frequently Asked Questions on the Commission?s Public onsultation.

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17 August 2006

2006-10-16 EU, Brussels - Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

(Europa)
The European Commission will organise in Brussels on Monday 16 October a final conference on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to close the series of consultation initiatives which Mrs Viviane Reding, Commissioner for the Information and Media, announced at CeBIT 2006. This conference will be opened by the commissioner, and it will feature European Commission officials, Members of the European Parliament, and relevant stakeholders from industry, government and civil society who have been involved in the ongoing European debate about RFID.

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04 July 2006

EU - Commission opens online public consultation on radio frequency identification (RFID)

(RAPID)
An online public consultation on how the European Commission can help to ensure that the growing use of radio frequency identification devices (RFID) boosts the competitiveness of the Europe's economy and improves the quality of life of its citizens, whilst safeguarding their basic rights, and in particular their privacy, has been launched.

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16 May 2006

EU - RFID tags provoke privacy concerns

(International Herald Tribune)
Radio frequency identification tags are postage-stamp-size chips that are revolutionizing the marketing and inventory businesses. But the revolution is also igniting debate in Europe over what some fear could be a new threat to personal privacy. Reflecting concern among consumer groups, the European Commission, led by Viviane Reding, the commissioner for information society and media, is holding a series of hearings and public forums on RFID tags.

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26 March 2006

EU - The RFID Revolution: challenges and options for action

(RAPID)
Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, International CeBIT Summit, Hannover, 9 March 2006.

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10 March 2006

European Commission consults on RFID

(ou-law)
The European Commission has launched a debate on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). It is seeking views on the opportunities, interoperability and compatibility issues as well as the privacy and security concerns raised by the new technology. see

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13 December 2005

The Internet of Things

(ITU)
The internet as we know it is set to transform radically, according to a new ITU Internet Report entitled The Internet of Things, specially prepared to coincide with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005. According to ITU?s report, we are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era, one that will radically transform the Internet, and with it, our corporate, community, and personal spheres. The new ITU report looks at key enabling technologies for ubiquity (e.g. RFID, sensors and sensor networks, telematics, robotics, nanotechnology) and how they might impact the future human and technological landscape.

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21 November 2005

The Internet of Things

(ITU)
The Internet of Things is the seventh in the series of 'ITU Internet Reports' by the International Telecommunication Union. The report takes a look at the next step in 'always on' communications, in which new technologies like RFID and smart computing promise a world of networked and interconnected devices that provide relevant content and information whatever the location of the user. Everything from tires to toothbrushes will be in communications range, heralding the dawn of a new era, one in which today's Internet (of data and people) gives way to tomorrow's Internet of Things.

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24 September 2005

Data Protection Commissioners Conference in Montreux

(EDRI)
The 27th international conference of data protection commissioners took place in Montreux/Switzerland from 13 to 15 September 2005. The commissioners in their closed session on 16 September adopted the Montreux Declaration. It calls for the spread of universal privacy principles around the world, including through the U.N.; cooperation with NGOs around the world; and for intergovernmental organisations (like ICAO, creator of the biometric/RFID passport standard) to comply with such principles and to appoint privacy officers. The conference also passed resolutions on biometric identity documents and on the use of personal data for political communications.

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11 August 2005

UK - Ofcom deregulates RFID

(out-law.com)
Communications watchdog Ofcom will be making radio spectrum available for use by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) equipment, and that those using the new technology would not need a wireless telegraphy licence. The country's privacy watchdog ? the Information Commissioner ? has also clarified data protection implications of using RFID.

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24 February 2005

2005-01-18 BE, Namur Surveillance électronique : possibilités techniques et cadre juridique

(CRID)
Ce séminaire s´attache à l´analyse technique et légale des modalités de surveillance. Dans la première partie, nous analyserons les obligations de rétention des données de trafic, telles qu´elles sont mises à charge des opérateurs de réseaux publics de télécommunications et des fournisseurs de services de télécommunications. Dans la seconde partie de la journée, nous nous attacherons à l´étude de la technologie RFID qui permet le tatouage électronique et invisible des produits.

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30 January 2005

US - Tesco 'spychips' anger consumers

(BBC)
Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (Caspian), a US consumer privacy group has called for a global boycott of Tesco stores over the company's trial of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. The technology allows products to be tracked via radio waves. Privacy groups have labelled them 'spy chips' because they fear the tags attached to products, can be used to track the behaviour of customers. But Tesco said the tags, being trialled on high value items in 10 stores, were only to help its distribution process.

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06 June 2004

US May Use New ID Cards At Borders

(Washington Post)
Government contractors hope a mix of new and existing technologies will better identify foreigners entering the United States through thousands of miles of land borders, without causing backups that stretch halfway to the ocean. One key ingredient is a rapidly emerging but controversial technology known as RFID, or radio frequency identification, which companies are increasingly using to remotely track products.

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02 February 2004

DE - Datenschützer übt massive Kritik an Copyright-Richtlinie der EU

(Heise)
Der Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz, Peter Schaar, befürchtet tiefe Einschnitte in das Fernmeldegeheimnis und in die Persönlichkeitsrechte der Bürger durch die geplante EU-Richtlinie zur Durchsetzung der Interessen der Verwerter geistigen Eigentums. Im Gespräch mit heise online kritisierte der Ende 2003 ins Amt eingeführte Datenschutzexperte, dass der Gesetzesentwurf aus Brüssel die Auskunftsansprüche der Rechteinhaber zu weit ausdehne. Zudem könnte die Richtlinie alle gerade anlaufenden Bemühungen unterwandern, den Einzug kleiner Identifizierungschips (RFID-Tags) in eine Unzahl von Produkten datenschutzfreundlich zu gestalten.

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24 December 2003

Caution over 'computerised world'

(ITU)
In a BBC news article: Caution over 'computerised world', researchers argue that more discussion is needed about the idea of putting microchips (e.g. RFIDs) in everyday objects. The actual study is The Precautionary Principle in the Information Society - Impacts of Pervasive Computing on Health and the Environment performed by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA). The entire report is currently only available in German (PDF) but a summary is available in several other languages (PDF). "Looking at the Information Society, the precautionary principle requires that the propagation of technologies which could possibly cause great damage should not be nonreversible." The study echoes the concerns about rapid RFID deployment expressed by Professor Ken Sakamura of Tokyo University (see Visions of Ubiquitous Networks from ITU TELECOM World 2003) in his paper Ubiquitous Computing: Making It a Reality (PDF).

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21 November 2003

Civil liberties groups demand halt to RFID

(ZDNet UK)
Over 30 civil liberties and privacy groups have demanded a suspension to the deployment of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging systems until a number of issues surrounding the controversial technology have been addressed. These organisations, including Britain's Foundation for Information Policy Reseach and Privacy International, have backed a position statement on the use of RFID on consumer products.

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24 October 2003

MIT bows out of controversial RFID tag research

(silicon.com)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is ending a four-year collaboration with dozens of blue-chip companies that set out to advance a new frontier of information technology known as radio frequency identification that would track the location of everyday objects.

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