Federal report warns of RFID misuses

By Declan McCullagh, Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Radio frequency identification is becoming increasingly popular inside the U.S. government, but agencies have not seriously considered the privacy risks, federal auditors said. In a report published Friday, the Government Accountability Office said that 13 of the largest federal agencies are already using RFID or plan to use it. But only one of 23 agencies polled by the GAO had identified any legal or privacy issues–even though three admitted RFID would let them track employee movements.

RFID is a catchall term for a broad array of technologies that includes everything from battery-powered “active” tags, such as those used in highway toll booths, to “passive” RFID tags that measure a fraction of a millimeter in each dimension, not counting the antenna in the device.

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