[LINK] RFID Tagging of Children

Geoff Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Wed Oct 25 11:33:43 AEST 2006

Jan Whitaker wrote:
> 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. 

Nor should they. Is this not the role of legislators.

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
>>> people?
>> 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]

Kids wear wrist watches without any issues. The RIFD wristband is warn like a 
wristwatch. In fact you can get them as watches.

They are also available in different colors.

>>> 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.

There is no photo, I was just responding to the question of how you could 
overcome the swapping issue. Which, I dont think is an issue.

>> 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?

We are not involved in this aspect. Given the nature of the data collected, I 
don't think it would have any other value other than it purpose (to manage 
logistics for the event), and I suspect it would be deleted, as the organisation 
already has a separate membership database.

>> 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.

Can you remind me again, which specific rights are being overcome.

I would argue that the organisation has a right to ask this information, and the 
person has an obligation to provide it, if he wants to attend this event.

Attendance is voluntary. If they feel somehow their rights are being "invaded" 
then they do not have to come.

This whole process could be done with pen and paper. The same data would be 
still needed to be collected and filed.

So how is this different, just because I am using a computers and RFID.

It would be expensive and laborious and would no doubt limit the number events 
things that you could do. As you would be in queues all day, finding ticking of 
bits of paper etc.

Are you really telling me that this organisation has no right to improve their 
efficiency and save costs, in processing and collecting data that they would 
need to do anyway?

> [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.

This approach is not possible in this environment.

Also, because I drive on the left side of the road like everyone else, does this 
  make me like cattle also. There are many many examples where people are 
herded, to think otherwise, would only be inviting anarchy.

> 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, surely you would want me to respect the privacy and confidentiality of this 


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

> Jan
> 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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