Monday, October 16, 2006

Radio tagging - friend or foe

The BBC reports:

Unveiling the study, EU commissioner Viviane Reding said citizens needed re-assuring that radio tags would not lead to large-scale surveillance.

Ms Reding said she was ready to draft new laws to control how the radio frequency tags could be used.

Potential abuse

The Information Society Commissioner made her comments at a conference called to mark the end of a six-month EU consultation exercise in which it sought opinions about the growing use of radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags.

These "smart barcodes" are increasingly used by businesses to monitor goods as they move along supply chains. Governments are also starting to think about putting them in many identity documents such as passports.

I would add that such technologies can be used by event organisers instead of tickets (and also to keep track of guests as they move round on a facility visit); They are great for monitoring exhibition visitors and are useful when following up the use of 'freebees' such as a trip to the Tower of London and the Savoy Grill - if you get my drift.