[LINK] RFID guide launch - the report link

Geoffrey Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Mon Jul 31 15:17:53 AEST 2006

Jan Whitaker wrote:
> From: Fwd: [highered_update] Higher Education Update - an EdNA Online 
> newsletter, Issue 22 2006 ISSN 1449-0552
>> Coonan Launches RFID Guide
>> http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;497073536;fp;16;fpid;0
>> The Minister for the Department of Information Technology,
>> Communications and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan used her opening
>> address at the GSI Impetus 2006 conference in Melbourne this week to
>> launch a guide to RFID adoption for Australian business. GS1 Australia
>> allocates barcodes and numbering systems for e-commerce, promoting
>> international standards for item identification, data capture and data
>> synchronization with trading partners via the GS1 pool. The guide is at
>> http://tinyurl.com/zfkny.
>> Computerworld, 27 July 2006
> I think it's interesting that DCITA is preparing reports to promote a 
> specific business technology like this. Why? Is there a revenue 
> generation from the licensed spectrum assigned?
1) There is no licence for the use of the spectrum when used with in the 
current regulatory framework (i.e. 918 to 926MHz at 1W EIRP).

2) However GS1 Australia has been granted a licence (to control the 
issue of sub-licences)
for the use of RFID with in the 920-926Mhz at 4W EIRP. There is a small 
licence fee of $150 for this to cover the administration cost of 
"monitoring" the result of this. Its purpose is to validate the use of 
4W with in Australia. If successful, the regulation may be changed to 4W.

So it is certainly not for the "revenue generation".

DICTA did provide funding $200K for a national RFID demonstrator.
The resulting report and case study can be found at:

Key findings from the report are:

"The National Demonstrator Project was an opportunity
to demonstrate the benefits of Radio Frequency
Identification RFID) technology and the use of the
entire EPC Network™ in the supply chain.
The project gave the consortium of manufacturers,
retailers and other organisations in the fast-moving
consumer goods sector the opportunity to trial RFID
technology in Australia under local conditions. The
project’s reach across an entire supply chain made it
the first of its kind in the world.

The project demonstrated benefits for all partners within
the supply chain, adding to what is already understood
about the savings for retailers. The sharing of learnings
also meant savings in time and money for Australian

The pilot involved tracking the exchange of ownership
and the movement of products through the supply
chain from manufacturer to retailer. Its scope was to
demonstrate that the EPC Network could deliver
ciencies right along the supply chain with improved
visibility being of bene
t to all, not just to direct trading
The National Demonstrator Project successfully
demonstrated that:
• A single set of global standards reduces time and
saves money
• Cross-functional teams make implementation easier
and give participants greater bene
• Internal knowledge is critical to success
• The EPC Network’s bene
ts apply to all organisations
and increase with greater trading partner participation"


Simply, RFID has been shown to deliver (and not just in Australia) 
supply chain benefits to industry. This results in reduced cost, better 
service and being more competitive.

As the majority of the world is going this way, Australia will have no 
choice but to follow if it wants to remain competitive.

No doubt DICTA understand this as well.

> from the report:
> Perhaps the biggest issue of a public policy nature associated with 
> the growing use of RFID technology is privacy. There is concern in 
> some quarters that the monitoring capabilities of RFID tags will be 
> used to invade the privacy of individuals. The possibility of an RFID 
> tag on a consumer item being used to track the movements of an 
> individual subsequent to a purchase, for example, has generated 
> discussion. This concern may be especially significant if that 
> tracking information can be associated with identity and credit card 
> details, or other personal information.
> It is often suggested that RFID technology is ‘unregulated’, meaning 
> that there are no restrictions on the use of RFID to invade the 
> privacy of individuals or misuse personal information. While there is 
> no specific privacy regulation of RFID systems by governments in 
> Australia, there is general legislation applying to all forms of 
> business including the commercial use of RFID.
> For example, the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 sets out 10 National 
> Privacy Principles (NPPs), which place obligations on many businesses 
> in relation to how they collect, handle, store, use and disclose 
> personal information. The NPPs have general applicability to 
> businesses with a turnover of more than $3 million per annum. Businesses
> with a lesser turnover are generally exempt from the NPPs, with the 
> exception of health service providers and some others.6
> Businesses can address the privacy concerns that arise in connection 
> with RFID technology by considering the privacy implications early. 
> One example is through the use of a privacy impact assessment process. 
> If there is any potential to link RFID data to information that may 
> identify an individual, or in some other way link RFID data to 
> individuals (including staff and customers), then there are likely to 
> be privacy implications that will require careful consideration.7
> Privacy commissioners from around the world have recommended that 
> basic principles of privacy law be adopted when designing, 
> implementing and using RFID technology. These include the following:
> • RFID tags should only be linked to personal information or used to 
> profile customers if there is no other way of achieving the goal sought;
> • individuals should be fully informed if personal information is 
> collected using RFID tags;
> • personal information collected using RFID tags should only be used 
> for the specific purpose for which it is first collected, and 
> destroyed after that purpose is achieved; and
> • individuals should be able to disable or destroy any RFID tag that 
> they have in their possession.
> As noted, the spectrum licensing arrangements by ACMA for RFID 
> equipment specify the power at which equipment can be used, and as a 
> consequence the read range. This effectively prevents the tracking of 
> tags and the objects or people carrying them over wide areas.
> In addition, the Trade Practices Act 1974 regulates the potential use 
> of unfair practices by traders, some of which may involve the abuse of 
> RFID technology.
> The prospect of widespread item-level tagging in the retail sector 
> appears to be a source of concern from the point of view of customers 
> being unaware that items they are carrying around may be subject to 
> tracking. Based on current market and technology trends, large scale 
> item-level tagging in the retail sector in Australia is still some 
> years away, but businesses looking to adopt RFID technology need to be 
> aware that these issues and concerns exist and need to be addressed.
> An indication of the types of issue of concern to privacy advocate 
> groups can be found on the website of the Electronic Privacy 
> Information Center (www.epic.org/privacy/rfid).
> footnotes:
> 6 For more information on the coverage of the Privacy Act, see 
> Information Sheet 12 on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s 
> website (www.privacy.gov.au/publications).
> 7 Standards body GS1 Australia in conjunction with the Australian 
> Retailers Association is currently developing a privacy code of 
> practice for RFID use in the Australian retail industry. EPCglobal has 
> also published privacy principles. More information is available from 
> the website of GS1 Australia (www.gs1au.org).
There is no doubt privacy concerns need to be addressed. As you know the 
industry is trying to take proactive approach to Privacy and develop 
industry guidelines based on the principals above.

I would have thought the existing privacy legislation would provided 
some degree of protection already.

The current Gen 2 RFID technology has made provisions for a "kill" 
function to disable the RFID chip. However, I think (hope) people will 
realise in the end, that there is ongoing value, particularly in 
recycling and consumer information, in having the RFID remain active.

Geoffrey Ramadan B.E.(Elec)
Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Association (www.adca.com.au)
Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)

> Jan Whitaker
> JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
> jwhit at janwhitaker.com
> business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
> personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
> commentary: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
> 'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed, 
> there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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