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

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsWhat Is the Protocol Used for Privacy With RFID in Health-Care Applications?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago

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

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