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4 J. Int'l Trade L. & Pol'y 1 (2005)

handle is hein.journals/jitlp4 and id is 1 raw text is: 

JOURNALOFINTERNATIONALTRADE LAWO POLICY


    RFID TAGS AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: REALLY FREE

                           INTERNAL DISTRIBUTION?


                                          Alan  S. Reid*


Abstract


This article discusses the development of Radio Frequency Identification technology and its legal implications.
The technology promises to transform the supply chain, through increased efficiency, stocktaking accuracy and
ultimately lower costs for consumers. RFID technology creates a variety of potential legal concerns. In particular,
RFID tags have the potential to seriously undermine the human right to privacy. RFID tags are privacy neutral, in
that they neither destroy privacy nor promote privacy. However, RFID tags may greatly facilitate the surreptitious
collection of personal data. The privacy of consumers of RFID enabled products may be violated which will seriously
undermine consumer confidence in the trustworthiness of commercial organisations. Within the European Union,
RFID technology may facilitate actions designed to undermine the Internal Market. RFID technology is in its infancy,
however, the speed of technological developmentin this area will require a range of legislative and non-legislative
responses in the near future. Solutions to the privacy problem must be holistic, and encompass responses from a
range of stakeholders. Firstly, at the design stage, RFID technology must be privacy promoting. Thereafter, utilisation
of RFID technology must be accompanied by the adoption of privacy protecting legislation, voluntary self and co-
regulation, codes of conduct and technological tools.


*Lecturerin Law, The Robert Gordon University.


VOLUME 4 DECEMBER 2005


1

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