EC consults on RFID tags

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EC consults on RFID tags

European Commission starts public consultation on RFID privacy and frequency

The European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on radio frequency identification (RFID) wireless tag systems, to establish the need for standards in areas such as privacy and frequency allocation.

The EC placed an RFID questionnaire on its Your Voice in Europe web site last week. The EC hopes to gather feedback on standards and interoperability, security and privacy, and frequency spectrum issues. The aim is to assess ways to stimulate RFID deployment to boost the European economy while ensuring that individuals’ privacy is protected.

Topics range from the need for more public information on RFID technology to whether its use should be regulated and what the maximum read distance of proximity tags should be. The consultation runs until 17 September.

Craig Backham, business development manager at RFID specialist Intermec welcomed the EC’s efforts, particularly to clarify privacy requirements for item-level tagging. “Information is needed on what the technology can do and which applications need some control. Harmonisation of frequencies would also be very valuable,” he added.

The EC has already held RFID workshops on radio spectrum allocation and international compatibility, among other topics. It plans to hold a conference in October to share the results of the workshops and will consult with experts before drafting its proposal for the European Parliament and Council.

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