Where Will Consumers Find Privacy Protection From RFIDs?: A Case for Federal Legislation

By: Serena G. Stein

With the birth of RFID technology, businesses gained the ability to tag products with practically invisible computer chips that relay information about consumer behavior to remote databases. Such tagging permits retailers and manufacturers to track the purchases, identities, and movements of their customers. In the absence of enforceable regulations, society risks being subjected to an unprecedented level of Orwellian surveillance. This iBrief addresses consumer privacy concerns stemming from the proliferation of RFID technology. It discusses why tort law, state legislation, FTC guidelines, and proposed regulations are insufficient methods to alleviate consumer privacy concerns and suggests amending various federal privacy laws, thereby prohibiting the underlying RFID tracking behavior.

Cite: 2007 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0003

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