RFID in Libraries


IT org urges RFID industry to step up education efforts

Filed under: — Laura @ 9:22 am

The Progressive Policy Institute, an educational institute which promotes accelerated economic growth and challenging special interests, has issued a report calling RFID privacy concerns “at best premature and at worst hypothetical and impractical.”

Their policy document, Radio Frequency Identification: Little Devices Making Big Waves, disses legislative oversight. Instead they would prefer that the industry self-regulate and step up efforts to educate consumers.


FTC responds to Nelson

Filed under: — Laura @ 7:33 am

RFID journal reports that the Federal Trade Commission responded to queries by Democratic Senator Bill Nelson (Fla.). Their jurisdiction is limited to unfair or deceptive commercial practices – in other words, they will intervene if a company abuses personal information gathered from RFID. Nelson had asked what steps the FTC is taking to regulate RFID and Deborah Majoras, FTC chair, pointed to the last June’s workshop.

The commission will be releasing a report based on the workshop that will have some guidelines.


Sen. Nelson’s FTC/FCC letters

Filed under: — Laura @ 3:27 pm

I found my copies of the letters U.S Senator Bill Nelson sent to the FTC and FCC and posted them.


FCC Workshop on Oct. 7

Filed under: — Laura @ 11:31 am

The FCC is holding a workshop on RFID on October 7.

The workshop looks fairly pro-RFID development. They are examining “regulatory barriers.” Seems like Senator Nelson’s questions to the FCC regarding legislative juridiction may be moot if the FCC has no interest/intention to regulate.

Senator queries FTC and FCC on RFID

Filed under: — Laura @ 11:26 am

I meant to post this in August when I first heard about it. RFID Journal scooped me in reporting that U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has gone to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with a list of questions about RFID. Somebody also informed me that he sent a similiar list of questions to the FCC, but I seem to have misplaced my notes on that.

Nelson wants to know what jurisdiction these two organizations have over regulating RFID and what they have done to stop abuses such as the Wal-Mart Gillette razor incident.

Another Senator calls for Fed regulation

Filed under: — Laura @ 8:55 am

Sonia Arrison writes a commentary for TechNewsWorld in which she discusses Senator Byron Dorgan’s (D-North Dakota) call for federal government to get involved with RFID development.

Arrison comes out against legislating the technology since “there is no current harm taking place as a result of RFID.”

I don’t think this is a very strong argument. Do you wait for a burglery before you lock your house up? Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel. I think industry proponents should be proactive in developing best practices if they don’t want legislators to intervene. The privacy issue is a political issue and politicians will make hay from it as protests like San Francisco’s continue.

I don’t know whether there should be intervention or not, but I’d like to see more developed arguments on both sides of the issue.


House Sub-committee hearing round-up

Filed under: — Laura @ 5:34 pm

On July 14 the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Sub-committee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection (what a mouthful!) held a hearing, “Radio Frequency Indentification (RFID) Technology: What the Future Holds for Commerce, Security and the Consumer.”

Transcripts and prepared testimonies should be available within a month or so. I’ve made links to articles reporting on the hearing in the extended post. Those on both sides of the issue trot out the same arguments we’ve already heard. One thing worth considering, however, is the notion of general privacy legislation covering all types of technologies. The Center for Democracy and Technology advocates such an approach.

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