[LINK] Re: RFID in Govt, and in People

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Oct 4 09:20:38 AEST 2006

Here's a posting on the libraries aspect of RFID, forwarded from the 
privacy-list with the poster's permission:

>From: "Yoxall, Helen" <HelenY at PHM.GOV.AU>
>To: <privacy at lists.efa.org.au>
>Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2006 11:59:26 +1000
>List-Subscribe: http://lists.efa.org.au/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/privacy
>I don't know if this is of interest but some government-funded
>libraries, museums and galleries are using RFID (eg. Commonwealth
>Parliamentary Library) or considering it (eg. National Gallery of
>Australia).  I don't know if these kind of cultural institutions would
>be amongst the agencies interviewed.  For them, RFID is a means of
>collection management (equivalent, say, to stock control in a
>warehouse), but there are, of course, privacy implications for library
>This year's ALIA (Australian Libraries and Information Association)
>conference had a session on RFID and privacy.
>Last year's ALIA conference had a paper re introduction of RFID into the
>Parliamentary Library which includes brief reference to members' concern
>for their own privacy.
>Standards Australia is developing an RFID data model for Australian
>libraries, which promises to address privacy.
>Helen Yoxall
>-----Original Message-----
>From: privacy-bounces at lists.efa.org.au
>[mailto:privacy-bounces at lists.efa.org.au] On Behalf Of Roger Clarke
>Sent: Tuesday, 3 October 2006 10:10 AM
>To: privacy at lists.efa.org.au
>Subject: RFID in Govt, and in People
>SMH/Age Next Section
>3 October 2006
>Not so smart
>Almost a third of Australian government agencies have set aside money
>for RFID-related projects, despite knowing little about the technology,
>a new survey has found.
>RFID is the short-range wireless technology used in 'contactless'
>smartcards and e-passports.
>Consultants Booz Allen Hamilton interviewed people in 28 Canberra-based
>government departments.  Fewer than 10% had a good understanding of RFID
>standards, although money had been allocated for RFID projects.
>Three-quarters of respondents plan to investigate or use RFID within the
>next three years.
>[The local Booz site, which uses the suitably sceptical domain-name
>'bah', doesn't seem to provide any information on the matter:
>[If anyone has any knowledge about what BAH thinks the 21 departments
>think they plan on doing with RFID, a posting to the list, or an
>off-list note to me, would be appreciated.  There are a few potential
>applications, e.g. in Defence Materiel;  but most agencies don't
>actually do the kinds of physical things any more that RFID is
>potentially useful for]
>In addition, the part of the Oz IT Section that operates purely as a
>relay for Media Releases (IT Business) has a breathless piece on RFID
>Fast track for radio tags
>Ben Woodhead
>Australian IT Section
>OCTOBER 03, 2006
>AUSTRALIAN businesses are attaching radio frequency identification tags
>to sheep, trains, heavy mining equipment and nurses as they take
>advantage of the technology's ability to track assets and people.
>[The report is completely lacking in scepticism.  That the reporter is
>prepared to have his name on it is a testament to how little
>self-respect many journos have these days.  Although I'd better allow
>for the possibility that 'Woodhead' is a pseudonym, intended to convey
>that the reporter thinks the same about this kind of rubbish as the rest
>of us do.
>[Especially noticeable is the equivalent treatment of people and things.
>There's no distinction at all drawn between tracking and controlling
>gamblers, nurses and prisoners and doing the same thing to sheep,
>cattle, and mining and hospital equipment]

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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