The European Commission has used CeBIT to launch a major European-wide consultation into the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
After completing the consultation, the commission intends to publish its position on the use of RFID technology in Europe by the end of the year.
At CeBIT, EU information society and media commissioner Viviane Reding said the consultation would include input from industry, governments and the general public.
Reding acknowledged that there were privacy fears among the public when it came to using RFID wireless tags in products, but suggested these fears were overblown.
She added, however, that the consultation would address “reasonable fears” that the public could have about RFID use.
Reding said one of the main focuses for the consultation would be to achieve interoperability between RFID systems used in Europe and those elsewhere, including in North America, which has seen the widest RFID use so far.
The consultation will focus on three main areas of standards, interoperability and privacy, said Reding.
The Commission will host workshops in Brussels on RFID use from this month until June.
Results from these workshops will be published on the web in September, and the general public will be invited to comment on them, before the Commission publishes its position statement.