from David Lyon, EPCglobal Business Manager, GS1 UK

Sir; In response to ‘RFID Spy Threat is Looming’ (The Grocer, August 20, p10), the fears over the privacy issues and threat of spying on RFID data through the recommended frequency bandwidth are unwarranted.
Privacy of data is a key factor in the success of RFID and a priority for developers, regulators and EPCglobal alike. Before agreeing to the designated bandwidth between 865 MHz and 868MHz, Ofcom consulted the Information Commissioners Office to address privacy concerns.
Ofcom and the ICO have recognised the importance of the work undertaken by the UK RFID Council, established by GS1 UK, in developing a UK code of practice on the use of RFID tags and to ensure the privacy and security of RFID data through the supply chain.
The ICO says: “Where the use of such tags involves collection, generation or disclosure of personal information, then the Data Protection Act of 1998 will apply. In particular, this means that individuals should be aware when information about them is being collected and what it will be used for.”
The ICO has established that: “RFID tags may also be used in circumstances where the Data Protection Act of 1998 is unlikely to apply at all, for example in monitoring distribution of pallets of goods from warehouse to stores.” It continues to say that “even where personal information is involved it is perfectly possible to comply with the act”.