Monday, October 06, 2008

Consultation Paper

One will give blogging a rest, but just a reminder that there is a consultation paper issued by the European Commission titled Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe: steps towards a policy framework. Some details of this consultation are included below:

The Communication on the Internet of Things will propose a policy approach addressing the whole range of political and technological issues related to the move from RFID and sensing technologies to the Internet of Things. It will focus especially on architectures, control of critical infrastructures, emerging applications, security, privacy and data protection, spectrum management, regulations and standards, broader socio-economic aspects.

The Commission's Staff Working Paper
: As a first contribution to the debate, the Commission has released a Staff Working Paper that can be found here. Stakeholders are invited to send comments on the issues addressed in this paper. Concrete suggestions of possible actions or initiatives that should be taken are particularly welcome. Target group: Universities and research centres, public authorities, private organisations addressing horizontal issues (e.g. infrastructure, security) and/or vertical components in major application areas (e.g. retail, logistics, manufacturing, e-energy, finance, public sector), European and international standards organisations, consumers' organisations, trade-unions, civil society groups. Answering Process: Respondents are invited to provide their feedback on a stand-alone document which can be found here. Unless otherwise indicated by the respondent, the answers received to this consultation will be published. There are no-predefined questions but respondents are invited to respect the following format: • Use the first page to identify themselves • Limit themselves to a maximum of 10 pages (regular fonts and spacing) • File should be in '.pdf' format Respondents are invited to send their response by email at by 28th November 2008 at the latest. Answers received after this deadline will not be taken into account. Results of the consultation:

The contributions received in the public consultation will serve for elaborating a Commission Communication on the Internet of Things addressed to the Council and the European Parliament during the second quarter of 2009. The Communication on the Internet of Things will be made public through the usual communication channels of the European Commission.

On the subject of RFIDs, there has been a lot of discussion on this issue including the Art. 29 Working Party's opinion. However, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of RFIDs was given in a talk that I attended last year, where RFIDs had become everyday life from RFID library cards to RFID passports. Indeed, the talk went so far not so much about regulation but how to circumvent RFID tags through the use of skimming. However, my understanding is that this practice is likely to be outlawed. For researchers working on RFIDs, a good starting point is here and here.

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