As legislation limiting the use of RFID heats up on the state level, it’s time to ramp up educational efforts and for somebody to take the lead in the fight to limit the misinformation floating around regarding privacy and security issues. Proposed legislation filed in New Hampshire and Rhode Island this month call to curb the use of RFID in those states.
It should be noted that the legislation will likely be struck down in both states, but not without a lot of time and effort put in by industry execs and lobbyists. However, the need to educate legislators has never been greater. Look at the New Hampshire bill, for example. In fine print buried near the end of the proposal, the bill incredulously calls for companies using the technology to provide frequency and data structure information to the public. What? Let’s just invite potential mis-users of the technology to hack in by providing them with the technical specifications. Maybe buy them an RFID reader at the same time!
“It really just doesn’t make sense,” says Kathleen Carroll, director of government relations at HID Global and also a certified information privacy professional who will spend time in the upcoming weeks educating New Hampshire lawmakers to help them better understand the technology. “My mission in life is to rile up the RFID industry to take this issue seriously and be pro-active about it. Let’s talk to the media about what we are doing to protect privacy.”
It’s time for an industry group or an alliance of manufacturers to stand up and take privacy concerns seriously, including devising a plan to educate the public. One misstep could set the industry back years. What do you think?