Do Retailers and Customers Sit in the Same RFID Privacy Boat?

TitleDo Retailers and Customers Sit in the Same RFID Privacy Boat?
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsNguyen, D., and A. Kobsa
EditorKobsa, A., R. Chellappa, and S. Spiekermann
Conference NameProceedings of PEP06, CHI 2006 Workshop on Privacy-Enhanced Personalization
Conference LocationMontreal, Canada
KeywordsRFID, privacy, personalization.

When the term RFID (Radio Frequency Identitification) ismentioned these days, it is followed not far behind by theterm privacy. For all of RFID’s potential to benefitmanufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers, thefear of privacy intrusion is preventing the technology fromgaining acceptance. This privacy concern is largely due tothe fact that RFID tags can be read by any RFID reader,without prior notice or consent. The fear is that asconsumer goods are tagged, consumers wearing or usingthose goods can also be tracked, especially without theconsumers’ knowledge. We present a scenario whereby itwill behoove the retailers to deal with privacy for their ownsake, and in return, the consumers may also benefit fromthe retailers’ solutions to the problem of tag reads that areboth anonymous and invisible. We argue that better RFIDprivacy is not only good for consumers, but also formanufacturers, distributors, and retailers.