Title: Searching the man behind the tag: privacy implications of RFID technology

Authors: Eleni Kosta, Jos Dumortier

Addresses: ICRI/K.U.Leuven, Sint-Michielsstraat 6, 3000, Leuven, Belgium. ' ICRI/K.U.Leuven, Sint-Michielsstraat 6, 3000, Leuven, Belgium

Abstract: The emergence of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology provides the potential for vast and varied applications, bringing with it both promise and peril. RFID tags used as the medium for the collection and transmission of personal data, as well as tracing devices for the location of natural persons, open a Pandora|s box regarding the privacy rights of individuals. The goal of this paper is to present the main privacy threats that arise from the widespread use of RFID technology and to illustrate the issues that have to be taken into consideration at the designing phase of an RFID application. The legislative initiative on RFID in the European Union (EU) will be presented and finally, a brief overview of the situation in the USA will be given.

Keywords: radio frequency identification; RFID; emerging technologies; personal data; privacy; security; human implants; European Union; EU law; USA; United States; data protection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2008.021141

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2008 Vol.2 No.3, pp.276 - 288

Published online: 05 Nov 2008 *

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