Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Too Early To Regulate RFID

from the give-'em-a-chance dept

Every time we mention RFID technologies, someone from CASPIAN or a related group stops by and posts comments or sends us emails saying that we absolutely must stop RFIDs because of the potential for privacy violations. Declan McCullough is now suggesting that it's way too early to talk about banning RFIDs. The potential benefits for everyone are huge. The potential downsides look like they can be corrected via technology (and many are already working on solutions). However, insisting that we create laws banning or changing a technology before there's a clear problem sets a huge precedent problem, suggesting that any new technology needs legislative approval to get built. That's not a recipe for innovation at all. As McCullough points out, in 1974, Phil Donahue was absolutely convinced that the bar code was dangerous and needed to be banned. None of this means we should ignore the potential privacy problems -- but that we should explore technological solutions, rather than ineffective, and potentially damaging legal ones.

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