RFID and privacy


20 August 2006

We have written about RFID in the past, and the press has contained much debate about the privacy implications in a world where increasingly everything is tagged with a unique identifier. With RFID tags being implemented for national identity cards, privacy continues to be in focus.

Against this backgound three chip makers and two device makers have joined to form Secure ID Coalition to promote smart cards while addressing the privacy issues. Their list of citizen privacy rights is interesting:

No longer active

Coalition members support specific citizen privacy rights as follows

  1. Privacy of personal information …
  2. Confidence of security against fraudulent access …
  3. Knowledge of:
    1. what data is contained…
    2. how that data will be collected, secured and transmitted
    3. the presence of radio frequency (RF) technology in ID documents
    4. when, where and why an RF device is being read

I can see some technical issues with implementing this, especially the last point, but that, presumably, is why the participants have joined forces.