Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Will the Empire Strike Back?

After a period of relative calm, the privacy issue has erupted once again, leaving RFID's image with yet more bruises.
By Mark Roberti
Aug 01, 2006—A one-sided story in the May issue of the respected U.S. magazine Consumer Reports led to a flurry of negative articles in the media. Then, several state legislators put forth bills restricting the use of RFID.

The bills pose little threat to companies deploying RFID systems, but the negative publicity they generate does. And since more companies are looking to deploy RFID at the item level—where the tagged item would end up in a consumer's hands—there is a growing feeling among leaders in the RFID community that it might be time to counter the negative reports.

RFID vendors and end users are weathering the storm of negative news articles and commentaries. (Illustration by William Rieser)
EPCglobal, the nonprofit organization in charge of creating Electronic Product Code standards, and AIM Global, the trade association for automatic identification technology and service providers, have been active in responding to legislation proposed in the United States. Representatives of both organizations have testified at legislative committee and government agency hearings. But EPCglobal made a conscious decision not to speak about after-sales applications of EPC technologies, such as using the tags for recycling, for fear of raising privacy concerns.

Most companies and organizations closely associated with EPC technologies have created RFID privacy guidelines for their company and members. But many companies now feel that they should take a more proactive approach and highlight RFID technology's many potential consumer benefits.

Some retailers are considering doing pilots that involve item-level tracking in the food sector. They want to see if they can use RFID to gather the data needed to comply with the U.S. Bioterrorism Act of 2002. Such pilots could show consumers that RFID can be used in a positive way to protect the food supply.

Some pharmaceutical companies believe a major e-pedigree trial could raise awareness of the technology's benefits to safeguard drugs. But there are concerns that such a trial would highlight the problem of counterfeiting.

While the RFID community debates the issue of how proactive to be in promoting RFID's consumer benefits, it's unlikely there will be any industrywide attempt to portray RFID technology in a positive light, at least until real consumer applications are in the marketplace. For the foreseeable future, RFID vendors and end users will have to weather the storm of negative news articles and commentaries on their own.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 388 words and 1 page. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations