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FTC to explore RFID consumer implications

The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop on June 21 that will include privacy and security issues around consumer uses of radio frequency identification technology that have riled privacy advocates.

The Federal Trade Commission said Monday it is seeking comments and requests to join a June 21 workshop looking at consumer uses and impacts of radio frequency identification technology. The workshop will look into the increasing number of applications of the technology and will address privacy and security concerns, especially fears of tracking users through their RFID products--something privacy groups have been vocal very about. Those seeking to participate in the workshop should notify the FTC by May 7. Workshop members will discuss policy issues and encourage development of best business practices that don't infringe on privacy or security concerns.

Government agencies and politicians are taking an increasing role in the evolution of RFID technology. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has discussed federal regulation of RFID technology. Several states--California, Missouri and Utah--have introduced bills to ease privacy concerns related to RFID.