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

Geoff Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Thu Oct 5 16:16:49 AEST 2006

Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
> Geoff Ramadan wrote:
>> Marghanita
>> Computers, data collection and Privacy laws existed prior to the 
>> current introduction of RFID in libraries, and computerised barcoding 
>> systems would have to comply with privacy legislation (or should have).
>> i.e. these are all existing issues prior to RFID.
>> What NEW privacy concerns are specifically raised because of RFID?
>> I suspect none, yet somehow they are attributed to "RFID".
> <snip>
> Geoff,
> It is the ease of tracking that RFID offers over Barcodes that raises 
> issues....identifying people or their habbits by their rubbish bins and 
> their contents, where they live by tracking where the book/clothing 
> goes...are these applications are in the realms of science fiction or 
> now legitimate objectives.

The trouble is you are generalising. RFID is not one technology nor one thing.

I am specifically talking about Library system. I don't think any rubbish is
generated in a library transaction. And certainly nothing that contains RFID.

The ability to track who has/had what book(s) can be currently be done via
computer. RFID has no part to play in this.

> Also, as RFID does have valuable appliacations it is necessary to ensure 
> that the side effects/enhancements to existing applications are 
> legitimate. The issue is whether the existing privacy laws are 
> sufficient and secondly whether they are effective.

I understand this point, but the only enhancement I see is the ability to read
the books more efficiently (with out having a barcode scanner and book
positioning issues). Putting a returned book down a chute with a RFID reader
registering this, is an excellent example of this. Librarians' don't have to
manipulate the book to find the barcode, improvements in stocktaking  etc.

I don't see any illegitimate side effects.

I understand there are privacy issues associated with Library system as a result 
of collecting personal information. What I am trying to understand is what new 
and real concerns are specifically attributed to RFID.


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

> It isn't the technology but its application that is being questioned.
> Marghanita

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