Posted by Lori Ayre on March 3, 2005

From RFID in Libraries, Laura Smart writes:

The California Senate has had the first reading of bill SB 682, the identity Information Protection Act of 2005.

The legislation would make it a misdemeanor to include a ?contactless integrated circuit or other device that can broadcast personal information? on any government issued ID card.

The bill Ed: broken link removed 2011 contains this excerpt:

1798.10. No identity document created, mandated, or issued by the state, county, or municipal government, or subdivision or agency thereof shall contain a contactless integrated circuit or other device that can broadcast personal information or enable personal information to be scanned remotely.

This proves my point that anyone getting involved in RFID at this stage of the game is doing so at their own risk. What I mean is that you may end up having to do some expensive retrofitting of your RFID system once the privacy issues and standards start to develop. This bit of legislation Ed: broken link removed 2011 may not go anywhere or it may make all those new library cards with embedded RFID tags illegal.

Next on my radar is the standards that apply to item-level tagging...appropriate standards are in the works, but not yet in the products. All the RFID vendors still use the old standards that apply to container-level tagging which is really a whole different beast. See Molnar for more on that score.

I spoke with a library representative recently who said they would be pursuing a feasibility study on RFID for their library. Now that makes sense -- don't rush this thing! Do plenty of research, figure out what it would really take to convert all your systems and let some of the issues shake out before you make a million dollar investment in new technology...that's what I say.