EU: Privacy concerns will prevent RFID adoption

Few in survey believe industry will protect their privacy, government controls will be necessary.

Privacy concerns will prevent RFID adoption in Europe, an EU commissioner warned today, AP reports.

"The large majority are willing to be convinced that RFID can bring benefits but they want to be reassured that it will not compromise their privacy," EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said. "This is the deal that we have to strike if we want RFID to be accepted and widely taken up."
Reding said European industry and regulators have to respond better to people's privacy concerns. She said this was clear from groups and individuals who had responded to a recent EU call for comments on ways to go forward with RFID. She said people need to keep control of how their information is used and updated — and how the tags can be turned off.
"Clear labeling of tags or the option to disable or destroy them electronically will be an important part of our protective armor," Reding said. "The consultation shows that people are mainly afraid of losing control, of not being able to choose when and how they are exposed to risks."

The European Commission could put forward a draft law on the subject in 2007.