[LINK] RFID Tagging of Children

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Wed Oct 25 08:14:32 AEST 2006

At 11:53 PM 24/10/2006, Geoffrey Ramadan wrote:
>>- failing to destroy data when its purpose is served and transferring
>>data to third parties not involved in the purpose for which the data was
>>collected should be a criminal (NOT merely a civil) offence.
>As they are collecting personal information, I would assume that 
>they would also be subject to the normal privacy laws and would need 
>to include an appropriate statement which would cover these aspects.
>In regards to the RFID guidelines, these would be in additional to 
>such privacy statement and would not need to be regurgitated. However, in
>our guideline will will probably make reference to it to remind them 
>of such points.

Industry will NEVER propose criminal penalties for itself. That would 
not be in its self-interest. That can only be done through 
legislation because criminal cases are only raised by the state (as 
far as I know). Current privacy law does not include criminal 
offences if I remember correctly. So if someone dies as a result of 
this negligence of control of sensitive information, the worst that 
would be experienced by the company or agency entrusted with that 
information is a fine.

As Karl said, this is not a criticism of RFID, but of the weakness of 
our privacy laws in Australia. The penalties are laughable and have 
yet to be applied to my knowledge. Roger may correct me on this.

>>5: For emergencies, you have huge problems of data integrity - how
>>exactly will these RFID chips be physically associated with particular
>Was thinking of a waterproof wristband they would wear all the time.

Assuming plastic?  Good luck finding something that won't injure at 
least one kid mucking around or trying to take it off or cutting 
himself with the box cutter when he cuts it off. I focus on the boys, 
but Karl's points about the fashion statement is an interesting one 
for girls. Will there be pink ones for girls and blue ones for boys? 
[just kidding]

>>How do you know that the tag matches the kid - hasn't been
>>swapped or whatever?
>You don't. You minimise the risk by having it been worn all the 
>time. Also if this was real issue, you could include a photograph in 
>the database.

so now there's a photo? What database? I thought it was just an ID 
and not linked to a database?  You're confusing me, Geoff.

>He also has a name, which others around him hopefully also know.
>>And what about the right of these kids to disable
>>or destroy the RFID chip (as given in the fourth Conference principle)?
>The principle applies to the "end of use" of the tag... not during. 
>At the end of the conference,  which concludes the purpose for which 
>the RFID tag and data was collected, the wristband would be returned.

And what will ensure that the information is deleted then? And if 
there is a database (see above re photo), is that covered by the 
principles, to destroy the database as well? Or if there is a unique 
identifier that is linked to the database, then the information won't 
be destroyed, will it?

>The key purpose of using RFID is simply one of efficiency. You can 
>process lots of people very quickly.

I think this is a 'system' that needs to be thoroughly mapped out and 
then thrown in the bin. Efficiency is no justification for overcoming 
someone's rights, in answer to a question posed in another message. 
And certainly badly efficient designed systems are less of a reason.

[from Richard's reply]
>>It makes me suspect that Organisation A has the idea that if it can 
>>spend a few dollars on the technology, it can slim down the number 
>>of supervisors...
>It is a large logistical problem..... there are several thousand 
>people involved.

People get certified tickets to get entry to sporting events using 
swipe strips or barcodes, but not chips. They aren't trackable 
throughout the venue with that system, but their entry is assured as 
legitimate. They aren't herded like cattle. I reckon your customer 
needs to think about their view of human beings and respect them as 
such, as opposed to objects.

I'll guess this is the Catholic Youth Conference where the Pope is 
coming. But the food 'rations' has me stumped.  Geoff, you also 
mentioned the bush. What does that have to do with it? Tell us more.


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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