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What Is the Protocol Used for Privacy With RFID in Health-Care Applications?

Posted By RFID Journal, 10.21.2013

What is being done to protect individual privacy in that sector?

—Name withheld


There is no protocol related to privacy in health care. Most transponders used to identify patients in hospitals do not have privacy features. This is because when you are in a hospital and doctors are about to perform a procedure on you, you actually do not want any privacy. You want doctors and nurses to know exactly who you are, and not to confuse you with the person in the next bed, who may be there to get a lobotomy.

I'm sorry, I shouldn't make light of your question. Privacy is always a serious matter, of course. But I have not heard many people expressing concerns about RFID and privacy in the health-care setting. I think the biggest issue involving the ensuring of privacy while using RFID applications in health care is to make sure that those who read tags and access a patient's medical records have permission to do so. It should not be possible to simply scan an industry-standard tag and obtain access to such data—but this is more a database-access issue than an RFID issue.

I would recommend downloading a document in our white paper library, titled RFID and Privacy: Guidance for Health-Care Providers, which addresses the issues of which health-care providers need to be aware. You need only be a registered user of RFID Journal


Praveen kumar ponnusamy 2013-10-21 10:32:46 AM
If you are looking for any kind RFID health care application/ solution then please contact me at praveen@rufutech.com or visit us on www.rufutech.com.
Leoanrd Garden 2013-10-24 09:23:07 PM
You seem to make light about a very serious issue and have little understanding of how little maturity such an attitude comtributes to the debate on RFID and personal privacy. Industry smugness about a technology that requires wisdom and discretion in its use is just the mindset that led the NSA to overstep its bounds by effecting blanket searches of the communications of unsuspected and unsuspecting private citizens. Your journal would be wiser to initiate debate on the privacy issue than to treat RFID use in healthcare as an inevitability even where its use may seem like a 'no-brainer.' By the way--that anecdote about the person in the next bed--was it you?
Mark Roberti 2013-10-25 12:10:25 PM
Thank you for your insightful comments. I acknowledged in my post that I shouldn't make light of a serious issue, so you confirmed that I was right about this. As far as the industry or RFID Journal taking the issue of privacy lightly, you are obviously ill-informed. RFID Journal has been a strong advocate of consumer privacy. We have consistently encouraged users of RFID technology to take it seriously. And the industry -- the companies that produce RFID products -- have developed a number of innovations designed to protect consumer privacy. There is no debate to initiate. We all take consumer privacy very seriously and believe it should be protected. So if there is any smugness, it's on the part of people like you who assume that you are better, more concerned about the public and more moral than those of us in the RFID industry.

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