Saturday, 1 May 2010

EU data protection - internet of things, RFID

Location privacy is a big current and future issue. Assistant EDPS Giovanni Buttarelli gave a speech on "Internet of things: ubiquitous monitoring in space and time" at the European Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners’ Conference, 29 April 2010.

He discussed the data protection issues arising from the Internet of Things, with RFID "as a building block and probably "the key" component of the future Internet of Things. Therefore, I will often refer to RFID and the Internet of Things as equivalents."

The speech provided an overview of what is the "internet of things", then the steps taken by the Commission to address it, particularly legal issues, with examples, and considered to what extent the current EU data protection framework needs to be amended to continue providing adequate protection when the Internet of Things becomes a reality (accountability and 'privacy by design, and perhaps "opt-in principle at the point of sale pursuant to which all RFID tags attached to consumer products would be deactivated by default at the point of sale").

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