Aust retailers move to allay RFID fears

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has developed a second draft RFID Consumer Code of Practice and hopes to launch a finished document by Christmas.Chad Gates, the ARA's National Technology Director, said the code is designed to address consumers' concerns about privacy issues before community fears about privacy and other concerns makes it harder for retailers to justify RFID adoption.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has developed a second draft RFID Consumer Code of Practice and hopes to launch a finished document by Christmas.

Chad Gates, the ARA's National Technology Director, said the code is designed to address consumers' concerns about privacy issues before community fears about privacy and other concerns makes it harder for retailers to justify RFID adoption.

"The broad aim of the code is to address consumer concerns over RFID, especially around -activation of tags," Gates said. "It will address what information is stored, notification of when RFIDs are being used and practices around notifying consumers how and why they are being used.

"It will be a lot like the code for barcode scanners," Gates says, which the ARA developed and published when that technology was in its infancy.

The code is being developed by a dedicated committee convened by the ARA and has reached a second draft, which is currently being circulated among members of a committee comprised of industry. Gates said he expects this draft to be released for wider consultation in September and that a finished document should be ready for publication "by Christmas".

The committee includes representatives from the Australian Retailers Association, EAN Australia, Auto-ID Labs, Gillette, Metcash, The Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC), Nestle, The Master Grocers Association, Coles Myer Limited, MYOB, The Australian Consumers Association, Coca Cola, Woolworths and Deacon University. Information on the committee and its aims and activities can be found here.

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