FTC workshop on RFID

If you’re in Washington, DC on September 23, check out this workshop on RFID.  It aims to explore the security and privacy ramifications.

Workshop participants will discuss the increasing prevalence of contactless payment devices in everyday consumer transactions, including credit card purchases and public transit.  Panelists will further discuss the growing utilization of item-level tagging in the retail sector.  The workshop will explore security and privacy threats and proposed solutions, as well as consumer awareness and education initiatives regarding these developments.

I’ve never attended one of these workshops but one phrase is troubling.  The focus on “consumer awareness and education” seems to represent an attitude that the only problem with RFID is PR.  I doubt any of the security or privacy problems with RFID can be solved by user education.  Transcripts of the last workshop the FTC held on this subject can be found here.

The event will be webcast if you can’t make it and comments can be submitted until October 23.

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