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RFID users say no privacy law needed

ComputerWorld reports that a U.S. law enforcing privacy rules for radio frequency identification (RFID) isn’t needed because companies experimenting with the technology are committed to protecting privacy, two such corporations told a U.S. House subcommittee yesterday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. continues to move forward with plans for case- and pallet-level tagging of products with RFID chips. But most item-level tagging, where individual products are identified with RFID chips, is about 10 years away, Linda Dillman, executive vice president and CIO of Wal-Mart, told the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Privacy advocates told the committee that legislation is needed to protect consumers from potential uses of RFID. Three privacy advocates testifying yesterday offered few current examples of privacy concerns caused by RFID, but as the range of RFID scanning grows beyond the current 10 to 20 feet, RFID could allow corporations and governments to track people’s movements and purchases.

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