RFID: Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor

The Official Journal of the European Union has published last 23 April 2008 the opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor (Peter HUSTINX) on the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on ‘Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe: steps towards a policy framework’ COM(2007) 96.

The new technological developments in RFID systems, have a clear impact on the requirements for an effective legal framework for data protection. Also, the need for effective protection of the personal data of an individual can impose limitations on the use of these new technologies.

Five basic privacy and security issues can be distinguished:

  • Identification of the data subject.
  • Identification of the data controller(s).
  • Cecrease meaning of the traditional distinction between the personal and the public sphere.
  • Consequences of the size and the physical properties of RFID-tags, the lack of transparency of the processing.