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Concerns raised about RFID and privacy

September 26, 2008 by  

RFID technology raises privacy concernsThe growth of radio frequency identification (RFID) and related technologies raises questions about how to protect people’s privacy, according to participants at a Federal Trade Commission workshop.

Government officials, industry representatives and consumer advocates met earlier this week to discuss concerns about security, CNET reports.

Some industry representatives argued that regulations relating to these concerns could interfere with the technology’s development, while consumer groups cautioned that privacy standards should be set sooner rather than later.

"Our discomfort stems from the fact that strong security is not always built into the (RFID technology) to begin with," Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America, was quoted as saying. "Very often, it’s an afterthought."

The U.S. Department of State already issues passports that are equipped with a 64-kilobyte RFID chip containing the traveler’s name, nationality, gender, birth date and place, and photograph.

Some states have passed legislation addressing privacy concerns connected to RFID. Washington and California both have laws that limit how RFID may be used.
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