Major opportunities for Information Society

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued  his Opinion on the 20th December 2007 concerning the Commission's communication on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe that was released in March 2007. The Opinion deals with the growing use of RFID chips in consumer products and other new applications affecting individuals.

The EDPS welcomes the Commission's Communication on RFID as it addresses the main issues arising from the deployment of RFID technology while taking account of privacy and data protection considerations. The EDPS agrees with the Commission that it is appropriate in the first phase to leave room for self-regulatory instruments. However, additional legislative measures may be necessary to regulate RFID usage in relation to privacy and data protection.

More specifically, the EDPS calls on the Commission to consider the following recommendations:

  • the provision of a clear guidance, in close cooperation with relevant stakeholders, on how to apply the current legal framework to the RFID environment.
  • the adoption of a Community legislation regulating the main issues of RFID-usage in case the effective implementation of the existing legal framework fails.
  • such measures should notably lay down the opt-in principle at the point of sale as a precise and undeniable legal obligation.
  • the identification of "Best Available Techniques" which will play a decisive role in the early adoption of the privacy-by-design principle.

The Opinion is available on the European Union official website.
For more information, please contact the EDPS Press Service at: +32 2 283 19 00

EDPS - The European guardian of personal data protection