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 Friday, May 04, 2007

Although the European Commission decided against imposing new legislative restrcitions on radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for now (opting for "soft legislation" instead) , a top official warned on Monday that regulations are likely if future uses of the technology don't protect fundamental privacy rights, reports ZDNet. Gerald Santucci, head of the European Commission unit whose domain includes RFID issues, said he feared that rushing to place restrictions on industries hoping to use the technology would choke its potentially valuable application in health care, business, transportation and other realms. But if regulators deem that widespread RFID use is insufficiently safe, secure and privacy-preserving, then "Mrs. Reding [European Commissioner for Information Society and Media] will have no other option but to trigger legislation," Santucci told participants at a luncheon discussion in Washington DC. By the end of 2008, the commission plans to reevaluate whether legislation is necessary. It's unclear how restrictive any potential rules would be.

Read the full story here (ZDNet). More on the European Commission Policy on RFID can be found here.

RFID, along with sensors and nanotechnology, was one of the key techological developments explored in the 2005 ITU Internet Report on The Internet of Things. An ITU New Initiatives Workshop on Ubiquitous Networks Societies was also held in the same here. Network aspects of identification systems are being studied in the context of standardization by the ITU's JCA-NID.