EC review could increase tag uptake

12 April 2006
More legal news

13 April 2006 | Anusha Bradley

The European Commission is to investigate the privacy and regulatory factors of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

The EC is holding consultations to address compatibility issues and public concerns about privacy protection.

Viviane Reding, commissioner for information society and media, said the review would consider whether a new law is needed to protect privacy and ensure that tags produced in one country can be read by scanners in another.

But, she added, regulation should not restrict competition among producers.

"Tags used in one country should easily be readable in other countries, but competing technologies based on alternative standards are powerful drivers of competition and innovation," she said.

RFID manufacturer Symbol Technologies welcomed the review. Andy McBain, European RFID senior product manager, told SM that worries about tags being used to track customers has been a problem: "We hope this will be cleared up and speed up adoption."

McBain added that countries using different RFID tracking frequencies was a "stumbling block for mass worldwide adoption".

The conclusions of a series of workshops being held now in Brussels will form the basis of a draft working document to be published in September. This will then be put out to consultation across the EC.

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