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Europe Seeks Public Opinion on RFID Policy

The European Commission this week moved to the second phase of its year-long initiative to develop public policy with respect to RFID. On Monday, an online questionnaire was launched to gather input from the European public about how RFID technology can both drive European economic growth and improve the quality of life for Europeans without infringing on citizens' privacy.
Tags: Privacy
Jul 05, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 5, 2006—The European Commission this week moved to the second phase of its year-long initiative to develop public policy with respect to RFID. On Monday, an online questionnaire was launched to gather input from the European public about how RFID technology can both drive European economic growth and improve the quality of life for Europeans without infringing on citizens' privacy. Viviane Reding, the EC's information society and media commissioner, said, "We need to build a society-wide consensus on the future of RFID. We need to ensure that RFID technology delivers on its economic potential and to create the right opportunities for its use for the wider public good, while ensuring that citizens remain in control of their data."

The questionnaire is available here and will be open until September 17th. After that, the input will be analyzed, synthesized, and presented at a conference in October.

The European Commission kicked off the initiative in March of this year, when it began holding RFID workshops at which European citizens, trade associations, business representatives, as well as experts from non-European nations convened to discuss and debate the technology and its public policy implications. Topics covered at the workshops included standards and interoperability, international compatibility, radio spectrum allocation, and RFID's future.

The commission hopes to have formulated policy by the end of this year, acknowledging that its timeline is "ambitious". Following are the key milestones:
  • March 6-7: Internet of Things workshop.
  • March 9: Reding announces the launch of the Europe-wide public consultation at the CeBIT technology conference in Hannover, Germany. (Read her speech.)
  • May 15-16: Applications workshop.
  • May 16-17: Security & Privacy workshop.
  • June 1: Interoperability & Governance workshop.
  • June 2: Frequency Spectrum workshop.
  • July 3 - September 17: Public online consultation.
  • September - October: Analysis of public input and learnings from the five workshops.
  • October: The analysis will be presented at a conference, date to-be-announced.
  • November: The final "Communication to European Parliament and Council" from the EC will be drafted.
  • December: That communication will be officially issued.
A website at RFIDconsultation.eu has been setup with information on the initiative, including links to the workshops, a background paper, and an email newsletter.

Read the announcement from the European Commission
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