Even while companies are moving forward with RFID tag and label implementation to help them track products in the supply chain, and even though such full implementation is likely years away from success, several states are considering restrictions on RFID use.
California’s Sen. Debra Bowen in February filed a bill restricting RFID tags (see February issue of ContactlessNews), while in Utah, a similar bill passed the House, but failed in the Senate.
Rep. David Hogue, a Republican from Riverton, Utah, successfully worked his HB 251 through the lower chamber but was unsuccessful in the Senate. That means the bill is dead at least for this year, since the Utah Legislature has adjourned its 2004 session and won’t convene again until next January.
Utah?s House of Representatives passed Representative Hogue’s Radio Frequency Identification Right to Know Act, 47-23. Had it been approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Olene Walker, the bill would have taken effect May 5, 2005. It required “a product containing a radio frequency identification tag to contain a label describing the radio frequency tag” and to allow the tag to be disabled “prior to the completion of sale unless the consumer chooses to leave it active.” The bill would also have allowed a logo to be placed on packaging to identify that an item contained an RFID tag, as long as an explanation of what the logo meant was placed near the goods in a prominent place, and of sufficient size so that consumers could easily see it.
Representative Hogue said a law regulating RFID use was needed to guarantee consumer privacy. His fear was that retailers would try to match data gathered by RFID readers with consumers’ personal information. Senator Bowen gave similar reasoning when she introduced her California bill.
Her still-pending bill would require any business or state government agency using an RFID system that can track products and people to:
- Tell people they’re using an RFID system that can track and collect information about them,
- Get express consent before tracking and collecting information,
- Detach or destroy RFID tags that are attached to a product offered for sale before the customer leaves the store.
Stay tuned to ContactlessNews to learn if the bill finds new life in Utah’s next legislative session.