RFID and Consumers' Privacy Protection

Eva Fialová

Abstract

In a competitive environment it is advantageous for various subjects to possess information about consumer’s behaviour and preferences. This information can be gathered from the so called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology incorporated, for example, in product packaging and in customer loyalty cards, and can refer to the consumer, purchased products or to a frequency and time of shopping. When stored in databases, this information can be a subject of profiling, data mining and data sharing. The information about the consumer and his/her private life provides an efficient tool for direct and event driven marketing and other means that directly influence consumer’s choices. Furthermore, the RFID technology even allows tracking of a consumer in a specific area. For these reasons RFID represents a threat to consumers´ privacy. The aim of this paper is to discuss whether the current European legislation provides sufficient guarantees to the consumer’s right to privacy in connection with the RFID usage. The paper will also sketch out possible solution of this issue in the future.

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