[LINK] Airport to tag passengers

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Sun Oct 15 23:10:31 AEST 2006

On Sun, 2006-10-15 at 22:12 +1000, Geoffrey Ramadan wrote:
> surface appears to conform to the 4 basic RFID privacy resolutions (from 
> the world's data protection and privacy commission)
> 1) data not linked to personal information
> 2) person fully informed
> 3) only use data for what it was intended for
> 4) able to delete or disable RFID tag

Are these the only four?!? What about a person's choice not to take

> Again in this Airport tag example, the Technologist, the Airport 
> Authorities, Consultants, Enforcement Agencies and most likely the 
> Government would have been all been involved in this project. Each 
> should have considered any privacy issues. They most likely did and 
> found no objection!

Hm. Conspicuous absence from the list - passengers. And it's a pretty
pious hope that the groups you mention there are likely to have
considered any privacy issues except from the perspective of how to
evade, avoid or neutralise them.

> “(privacy).. Is not one of either using RFID or respecting customer 
> privacy. It’s a question of striking the right balance between achieving 
> business goals and respecting customer privacy rights” - Elliot Maxwell 
> chairman EPCglobal’s International Policy Advisory Council.
> i.e. finding the balance is a problem.

There is no balance to find between things you MUST do and things you
WOULD LIKE to do. If a person has rights in law, then a company cannot
seek a "balance" in any way at all. Those rights must be respected,

The above quote suggests that privacy rights and business goals are
somehow the same kind of thing, equal but different. The suggestion is
in the framing of the statement itself, which places the two thing son
the same level, in the same category, then begs the question of the
possibility and desirability of "balance".

This is a similar technique to that used by the pro-smoking lobby, which
likes to suggest that a smoker's right to produce smoke is some how the
same kind of thing as a non-smokers right not to breathe it. In fact
these are *fundamentally* different classes of things, and to suggest a
"balance" between them is evidence of stupidity at best, deviousness at
worst. In the above quote, I think the latter is far more likely.

I find it objectionable to place business interests on the same level as
privacy rights at all, and it is telling that Maxwell does. Says a lot
about what he really thinks about privacy.

> “In a society based on anarchy, it is possible to imagine anything. But 
> we live in a civilised society, in which both common sense and the rule 
> of law prevail.” - Interview from Professor Peter Cole April 8 2004. 
> (RFID Physicists)

This is an apparently meaningless truism. You may to be using it to
imply that NOT accepting a "balance" between business interests and
privacy rights would be tantamount to anarchy. If not, what the heck DO
you mean?

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

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