RFID Privacy Guidelines To Protect Consumers Issued - InformationWeek

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RFID Privacy Guidelines To Protect Consumers Issued

The suggestions, backed by Procter & Gamble and other big names in consumer products, say businesses must inform consumers when they embed RFID tags in clothing seams, labels, and packages. They must also let people know how to disable and dispose of the tags once items are purchased.

The Center for Democracy & Technology delivered a best practices document for companies using RFID applications that collect data linked to consumers' personal information at tech trade show RFID Journal Live in Las Vegas on Monday.

The guidelines suggest businesses must inform consumers when they embed RFID tags in clothing seams, labels and packages, and alert them on ways to disable and dispose of the tags once items are purchased. Businesses also should alert consumers when they're entering a commercial or public place where RFID technology is used.

Businesses and consumer advocate groups wrote and assembled the guidelines. Among those participating are American Library Association, Cisco Systems, Eli Lilly and Co., IBM, Intel, Microsoft, National Consumer League, Procter & Gamble Co., VeriSign and Visa USA

"Procter & Gamble is committed to building and retaining consumer trust and that's why we've been at the forefront of establishing clear guidelines for the use of product code technology," said Sandy Hughes, an executive with the consumer goods company, which also helped to develop guidelines with non-profit industry group EPC Global Inc.

RFID received acceptance from consumer goods companies for managing inventory through the supply chain after Best Buy Inc., Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and others endorsed standards developed by EPC Global for tagging cartons and pallets of products shipped to distribution centers and on to stores.

The new guidelines recognize there are applications involving tags consumers will come in contact with at the retail store and after they take the product home through a new set of applications after the point of sale.

"We think it's important to think about and incorporate privacy considerations early in the process," said Harriett Pearson, chief privacy officer at IBM Corp. "These guidelines will facilitate the inclusion privacy enabled thinking and designs."

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