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<nettime> Germany's federal data protection officer demands law to defin
geert on Tue, 18 May 2004 00:54:44 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Germany's federal data protection officer demands law to define control of RFID tags


From: padeluun <padeluun {AT} bionic.zerberus.de>

Germany's federal data protection officer demands law to define
control of RFID tags.

The German federal data protection officer Peter Schaar has demanded a
law  to  define  control  of RFID tags in an interview with the German
magazine  "Focus",  scheduled  to  appear today, Monday May 17th 2004.
"This demand goes right in the direction of our principal claim", says
padeluun  of FoeBuD e.V. The FoeBuD as actor for the German section of
the  data  protection  negative price BigBrotherAward did nominate the
"Metro  Extra Future Store" in Rheinberg for the special "Data Octopus
Award" back in october 2003. With this nomination they started a broad
public  discussion  about  the  "snooping  chips".  Together  with  US
consumer  protection  activist  Katherine  Albrecht  FoeBuD discovered
hidden  RFID  tags  in the "Metro Extra Future Store" Payback consumer
chipcards.   Metro  promised  to  exchange  10,000  "bugged"  consumer
chipcards  after  the  data  protection  activists  called  for      a
demonstration in front of the Future Store in Rheinberg. "The exchange
of the cards, and now the demand voiced by the federal data protection
officer  are our first greater successes", says Rena Tangens of FoeBuD
e.V.  "It shows that you can change things, if only you get involved".
The  "bridge"  Foundation  has, besides private contributions, founded
the RFID campaign with 15,000 Euros.

--- Agency message of the Focus magazine:

FOCUS:  Federal data protection officer demands law change to regulate
Broadcasting Chips.

The federal data protection officer, Peter Schaar, demands a change in
the  data protection laws regarding the so-called RFID chips. Over the
past  months data protection activists protested several times against
this  new  kind  of  broadcasting chips, with which the sales industry
wants  to  replace  the barcodes in the long term. The Future Store of
the wholesale trade company Metro in Rheinberg withdrew their consumer
cards  with  RFID  (Radio  Frequency Identification) in february 2004,
after  the  presence  of  the  tags  was discovered by data protection
activists.

RFID chips are not covered by current law, explains Peter Schaar in an
interview  with  FOCUS.  In  theory  you  don't  have  to  inform your
consumers,  if you are going to integrate RFID chips in your products,
except  for  the case where you would associate personal data with the
chips. This rule would not apply for a third person, who could just as
well  read  the  personal  data  from  the chips without anyone taking
notice,  says  Schaar.  This  is why Germany's federal data protection
officer demands a change to the existing data protection law: products
with  chips  integrated  in  them  shall  be  labeled as such, and the
consumer  shall have a right to take a look at the stored data as well
as ask for permanent deactivation of the chip after his purchase.

The  potential  abuse possible with RFID is said to be enormous: "What
happens, if when entering a different store I am scanned for expensive
branded clothing?", Schaar gives an exmaple to Focus. "Consumers could
possibly broadcast very individual data without even knowing about it.
This is a very different quality compared to the old barcode."


---------
contact: FoeBuD e.V. // Rena Tangens + padeluun
Marktstraße 18 // 33602 Bielefeld // Germany
Tel: +49-521-175254 // Fax: +49-521-61172 // mail {AT} foebud.org
www.foebud.org // www.bigbrotherawards.de

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