Posted by Lori Ayre on November 23, 2003

The ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Privacy Clearinghouse and many others have signed on to an RFID Position Paper that argues that the use of RFID technology should cease until after a formal technology assessment has been done. They state that "RFID implementation must be guided by Principles of Fair Information Practice [and that] certain uses of RFID should be flatly prohibited." If you are using or considing using RFID in your library, I recommend reading this paper before you get too along the road.

Below is an excerpt from one section.
RFID Practices that Should be Flatly Prohibited:

  • Merchants must be prohibited from forcing or coercing customers into accepting live or dormant RFID tags in the products they buy.
  • There should be no prohibition on individuals to detect RFID tags and readers and disable tags on items in their possession.
  • RFID must not be used to track individuals absent informed and written consent of the data subject. Human tracking is inappropriate, either directly or indirectly, through clothing, consumer goods, or other items.
  • RFID should never be employed in a fashion to eliminate or reduce anonymity. For instance, RFID should not be incorporated into currency.

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