FTC to Host Public Workshop on Radio Frequency Identification

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For Release


The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comments on and requests to participate in a workshop, “Radio Frequency Identification: Applications and Implications for Consumers,” to be held June 21, 2004. A Federal Register Notice announcing the workshop says that it “will explore the uses, efficiencies, and implications for consumers associated with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The workshop will address both current and anticipated uses of RFID tags and their impact on the marketplace.”

According to the Federal Register Notice, the workshop “will provide an opportunity to learn about how RFID works and to highlight its numerous and rapidly growing applications. It will also address the privacy and security concerns associated with RFID use, particularly on an item-level basis. By bringing together RFID proponents, privacy advocates, and other interested parties, the workshop will facilitate discussion of core public policy issues and encourage the development of best practices that capitalize on the efficiencies generated by RFID without compromising consumers’ privacy and security.”

Topics addressed at the workshop will include:


  • What is RFID all about?

  • How is RFID technology currently being deployed?

  • What is the future of RFID?

  • How are consumers impacted by current and/or anticipated RFID uses?

  • What approaches have led or will lead to use of RFID in a way that accommodates privacy and security concerns?


Parties seeking to serve as panelists in the workshop must notify the FTC in writing of their interest in participating on or before Friday, May 7, 2004, either by mail to the Secretary of the FTC or by email to rfidworkshop@ftc.gov. More information about participating in the workshop, including the specific criteria the FTC will use to select participants, is provided in the Federal Register Notice.

Interested parties also may submit written comments on the above questions to foster greater understanding of these issues. Especially useful are any studies, surveys, research, and empirical data. Comments must be filed on or before Friday, May 21, 2004, and may be filed in either paper or electronic form. For paper submissions, an original and two copies of each document should be provided. The FTC requests that any submission filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service. U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Alternatively, comments may be emailed to rfidworkshop@ftc.gov.

Additional information about the workshop is available on the FTC’s Web site at www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/rfid. An agenda will be posted there prior to the workshop.

Copies of the Federal Register Notice are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1 877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

(FTC File No. P049106)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Claudia Bourne Farrell
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Julie Brof
Northwest Regional Office