23 October 2006 at 9:36:59 AM
I wrote about how Europe is actually CONCERNED about RFID and privacy and over HALF of its citizens are calling for businesses to protect privacy rights. People in the United States need to do the same, because the RFID makers are hoping you don't notice, Trojan Horse style, till they're ubiquitous.
About half of EU residents believe privacy-protection technologies should be mandatory in RFID applications, while 61 per cent want RFID tags to be de-activated at the point of sale, according to a survey by the European Commission. Another 64 percent say current regulations are sufficient for the initial deployment of UHF RFID, but not once the technology becomes more widespread.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is helping to transform logistics by providing a means of tracking and tracing individual products throughout the supply chain. However the high cost of tags, error read rates and privacy concerns have held back the development of the technology, despite mandates from major retailers such as Wal-Mart.
The preliminary survey forms part of the consultation process by the European Commission to gauge public opinion on the more widespread use of RFID technologies. The Commission plans to implement new data protection and privacy rules for RFID technology next year to address the concerns.
About 61 per cent of the respondents said that the current amount of information available to let them come to an informed judgement of RFID's pros and cons was not sufficient. However, 52 per cent said they are aware of the efforts conducted by the existing forums to develop principles and best practices for the industry.
And speaking of insecure- Irish passports... are ... not.......
The Irish government has begun issuing RFID passports with biometric data that can be read at a distance to comply with US regulations for its visa waiver programme.
But unlike the RFID passports the USA is now issuing, the Irish ones lack a security feature preventing them from being skimmed, or read surreptitiously.
The US government has gone to the trouble of fitting its passports with a layer of foil that interferes with skimming attempts when the document is closed. The Irish government has not. A local lobbying outfit called Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) has complained that the new passports are ripe for remote privacy invasion. As of course they are...
A simple layer of foil in the cover would help, although it's hardly a privacy panacea. Recent tests have shown that the RFID chips can be cloned. It's also been found possible to read an unprotected chip from as far away as 30 feet. And it has been demonstrated that RFID systems are vulnerable to viruses.
Hospital garments chipped -every one individually
TAGSYS, the global leader in item-level RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) infrastructure, today announced that it has successfully deployed a complete RFID infrastructure at Cannes’ Hospital Laundry (BIH). The new system provides end-to-end traceability of the hospital garments handled by the laundry. To date, over 36,000 hospital-issued uniforms have been equipped with TAGSYS’ ARIO™ 70-TL RFID tag, a unique small and rigid tag that is able to resist repeated exposure to water, heat and chemicals.
Cannes’ BIH is responsible for the cleaning and management of staff uniforms for three local hospitals in total – Cannes, Antibes and Grasse. Previously, this was a labor-intensive process with individual employees counting each uniform manually as it entered the facility. To improve efficiency and increase performance standards, TAGSYS’ RFID technology was chosen by Cannes’ BIH to optimize the traceability of hospital uniforms. With the new solution, uniforms are able to be routinely traced and recorded for inventory as they enter the facility with an automatic garment dispenser, resulting in the improvement of work conditions and decreased handling costs.
"At Cannes’ BIH, TAGSYS equipped the library with a cost effective system that offers the hospital an innovative system to precisely track and trace uniforms,” said Elie Simon, CEO of TAGSYS. “By leveraging the latest in item-level RFID technology, BIH and the hospitals it services benefit from a highly reliable, accurate and secure technology to pioneer a new level of value to the industrial laundries sector.”
For this deployment, TAGSYS’ ARIO™ 70-TL tags serve as each garment’s unique identifier. By scanning each garment, laundry staff have the ability to determine stocks, instantly identifying the garment, its respective owner and hospital unit. With the ability to track when the garment entered the laundry, time of treatment and placement of storage in the facility, the hospital complies with hygiene standards and enhances staff and patient safety.
"Since installing the new system, we have successfully reinforced the traceability of our work wear,” said Thierry Navarro, Engineer at Cannes’ BIH. “We chose TAGSYS to implement the new RFID system as they are the only company we trusted to deliver on the promise to provide a true end-to-end solution. As a partner with TAGSYS, Cannes’ BIH is able to ensure accurate traceability of a substantial number of hospital garments, simply and economically. “
Now, I can definitely see the benefits of this. However, when every piece of clothing that every single person wears is chipped, then every person can be tracked.
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