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    Archive for the ‘RFID’ Category

    FTC Seeks Input on Privacy and Security Implications of the Internet of Things

    Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

    The Federal Trade Commission announced that it will conduct a workshop on November 21, 2013, on the privacy and security implications of the “Internet of Things,” which is a computerized network of physical objects. In IoT, sensors and data storage devices embedded in objects interact with Web services. (For more on privacy and the IoT, see a Center for Democracy and Technology report that I consulted on and contributed to, “Building the Digital Out-Of-Home Privacy Infrastructure.”) The FTC is seeking public comments. It said:

    The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is interested in the consumer privacy and security issues posed by the growing connectivity of consumer devices, such as cars, appliances, and medical devices, and invites comments on these issues in advance of a public workshop to be held on November 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

    The ability of everyday devices to communicate with each other and with people is becoming more prevalent and often is referred to as “The Internet of Things.”  […]

    Connected devices can communicate with consumers, transmit data back to companies, and compile data for third parties such as researchers, health care providers, or even other consumers, who can measure how their product usage compares with that of their neighbors.  The devices can provide important benefits to consumers:  they can handle tasks on a consumer’s behalf, improve efficiency, and enable consumers to control elements of their home or work environment from a distance. At the same time, the data collection and sharing that smart devices and greater connectivity enable pose privacy and security risks.  Read more »

    Korea Times: Credit cards with bio-info to debut

    Monday, June 25th, 2012

    The Korea Times reports that there are privacy questions arising over proposed RFID-enabled cards that would contain individuals’ medical data:

    The state-run disaster control agency is working with a credit card company to issue cards that will contain biological information about holders to enable a quick and effective treatment in the event of an emergency.

    Heated debate concerning possible privacy violation and the consequences a leakage of such information could bring will match daytime temperatures.

    The National Emergency Management Agency said it has signed a deal with Korea Exchange Bank’s credit card unit to issue the cards, tentatively named “Respect Life Cards,” as early as next month.  Read more »

    Update: More on Electronic Tracking of Students in Texas

    Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

    We’ve discussed before the use of technology to track students. In March, it was reported that a northeastern Brazilian city had issued RFID-enabled school uniforms to track grade-school students. A couple of years ago, there was a report on a pilot program for the RFID-enabled  “BostONEcard,” which will be used to take attendance for Boston public school students and “to make it easier for some public school students to use city services by providing them with one card they can use to ride the MBTA, withdraw books from city libraries, play sports, attend after-school programs at community centers, and access meal programs at their schools.” Also, the San Francisco Chronicle had an editorial about the use of an RFID system to track children’s attendance in a head start program. There also were reports of colleges using wireless ID technology, as well.

    Now, the San Antonio Express-News reports on the use and expansion of RFID tracking technology to keep tabs on students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts in Texas:

    Radio frequency identification — the same technology used to monitor cattle — is tracking students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts. Read more »

    Financial Times: Europe set for ‘smart tag’ privacy code

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

    The Financial Times reports on a new privacy proposal in Europe designed to protect consumers who buy products with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology tags attached. (RFID systems transmit data wirelessly from a chip or tag to a reader.) It has been proven time and again that unsecured RFID tags can be scanned and the data gathered with cheap, off-the-shelf technology. Some states have laws that would protect such data. For example, Washington state has a law to prevent “skimming” (unauthorized gathering of data from RFID tags).

    Now, the Financial Times reports:

    European regulators and industry organisations have agreed to establish a voluntary code to protect consumers’ privacy when they buy or use products carrying ‘smart tags’. Read more »

    Happy Data Privacy Day 2011!

    Friday, January 28th, 2011

    January 28 is Data Privacy Day. Take the time to think about how privacy is important in your life and how you can protect your rights from being infringed upon. Please also take the time to donate to any number of organizations out there trying to protect your privacy rights.

    Visit the official site to find events near your area. Here are a few highlights in the United States and internationally:

    New York
    On Friday, January 28, 2011, the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School is planning “Whose Data Is It Anyway?” a Data Privacy Day Event which will feature Professors James Grimmelman, Dan Hunter, and Andrew Lupu, who will engage with students in an intellectual game modeled off of the British television show “Whose Line is it Anyway.” The game portion of the event will be followed by a Q&A. Time and Location: 2:30 – 5pm, Events Center W201, New York Law School. Read more »

    Boston Globe: New student card: Big benefit or Big Brother?

    Thursday, October 28th, 2010

    The Boston Globe reports on a pilot program for the RFID-enabled  “BostONEcard,” which will be used to take attendance for public school students and “to make it easier for some public school students to use city services by providing them with one card they can use to ride the MBTA, withdraw books from city libraries, play sports, attend after-school programs at community centers, and access meal programs at their schools.” (Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology transmits data wirelessly from a chip or tag to a reader.)

    This is the latest program that uses technology to track students. Earlier this year, Northern Arizona University announced plans to use wireless ID card reader technology to track student attendance. A few weeks ago, the Houston Chronicle reported that two school districts in Texas (the Spring and Santa Fe school districts) are using RFID badges to track kids. In September, the San Francisco Chronicle had an editorial about the use of an RFID system to track children’s attendance in a head start program.

    The Boston Globe reports:

    This program is starting at the Josiah Quincy Upper School in Chinatown, where all 530 students in grades 6 through 12 are being provided a card, which has multiple barcodes, a radio frequency device to use on the T, and their photos. The city will evaluate the program at the end of the academic year and consider expanding it next year to all Boston Public School students in middle school and high school. Read more »