Internet economy

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Applications and Public Policy Considerations, OECD Foresight Forum, Paris, 5 Oct 2005


Background document  | Agenda and speaker presentations | Forum proceedings  

Description of the Technology, its Economic Potential & Applications

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology consisting of three key pieces: RFID tags (miniaturized chips); RFID readers; and a data collection, distribution, and management system that has the ability to identify or scan information with increased speed and accuracy. Compared to the bar code system, RFID promises long-term gains in supply chain management, transportation, defence and health care, to mention a few. RFID is increasingly used in commercial supply chain applications through pallet level tagging.

RFID, because it is a cross-cutting and enabling technology, adds to the important role ICT plays to promote innovation, economic growth, and global commerce. Looking toward the future, as the information infrastructures associated with RFID are increasingly accessed across IP networks, the OECD is well positioned to discuss with stakeholders how best to create a positive environment for growth, and promote best practices for the implementation and use of RFID.

RFID, like the Internet, requires smart privacy and security policies that address questions that arise as a result of the growth and interconnectedness of information and communications networks.  Disclosure, transparency and choice are important considerations for consumers as RFID migrates to item level tagging over the next few years.  Policies that are informed by industry best practices and consumer concerns will foster the potential of ICT and facilitate acceptance of emerging technologies such as RFID.

Critical Issues for Policy Makers

The ICCP Forum “Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Applications and Public Policy Considerations” will bring together government delegations, academia, private sector and non-governmental organisations to address important questions such as:

  • What new approaches are required and/or are already available, such as smart privacy and security policies, to both sustain innovation, and offer awareness of technology applications for consumers to make informed choices?
  • What role do technological solutions, industry self-regulatory best practices and policy interventions play in current implementation practices?
  • What privacy and security issues have come to the forefront as RFID moves closer toward item level tagging?
  • What are the factors affecting RFID rollout in value chains? How are gains measured?
  • In the key sectors and supply chains that use/have implemented RFID technologies to-date (including retail, transportation, pharmaceutical and livestock), what are current Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications and their impacts? 
  • What are some of the future applications that RFID promises to offer, and what are the ensuing growth and productivity gains associated with them? 
  • What important developments are in progress that may prompt widespread deployment of RFID within the ICT infrastructure (including sensor networks, smart devices, and context-aware technologies)?
  • What are some of the important public policy and international cooperation discussions underway that may encourage widespread deployment of RFID, including interoperability, standards and data protection?

For more information about this event, please contact Karine Perset: karine.perset @

AGENDA    Forum proceedings


Hugo Parr, Director General, Ministry of Modernisation, Norway, and Chair of OECD Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy - Presentation


Introductory remarks and session moderator: Jonathan Collins, European Editor for RFID Journal

2.1. Panorama of RFID current applications and potential economic benefits [9:40 – 10:10]

  • Dan Caprio, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy and Chief Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce - Presentation
  • Naji Najjar, Director of Wireless Broadband & Sensing Solutions, IBM Southwest Europe - Presentation

2.2. Future applications, ubiquity of RFID and potential economic and social benefits [10:10 – 11:00]

  • Taiichi Inoue, Senior Consultant - Head of IT for Society Consulting Group, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. - Presentation 
  • Indro Mukerjee, Executive vice president, Automotive & Identification business unit, Philips Semiconductors - Presentation
  • Elliot Maxwell, Fellow of the Communications Program at Johns Hopkins University - Presentation


Introductory remarks and session moderator: Richard Rees, President, Scanology Group, and Chair British Standards Institution Technical Committee “Automatic Identification Techniques” - Presentation

3.1. Smart tags along the supply chain [11:30-12:00]

  • Claudia Loebbecke, Professor, University of Cologne - Presentation
  • Masakazu Fujita, Research Director, Next Generation Electronic Commerce Council of Japan (ECOM) - Presentation - Appendix

3.2. Smart tags at the item-level and smart cards in service applications [12:00 – 12:30]

  • Elie Simon, Chief Executive Officer, TAGSYS SA - Presentation
  • Mark MacCarthy, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, VISA USA - Presentation


  • IBM Demonstration: RFID in supply-chain management applications
  • Philips and VISA demonstration: payment applications with contactless pay cards and RFID-enabled mobile phone - Presentation


4.1. Infrastructure/standards panel discussion [14:15 – 15:30]

  • Introductory remarks and session moderator: Dave Wollman, Scientific Advisor and RFID Coordinator, National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA)
  • Henri Barthel, Technical Director EPCglobal, GS1 - Presentation
  • Simson Garfinkel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Research on Computation at Society at Harvard University - Presentation
  • Kyo-il Chung, Director, ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Korea) - Presentation
  • Bernard Benhamou, Senior Lecturer, Political Science Institute, Paris - Speech

4.2. Privacy panel discussion [15:45 – 17:00]

  • Introductory remarks and session moderator: Joseph Alhadeff, Vice President for Global Public Policy and Chief Privacy Officer, Oracle Corporation
  • Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center - Presentation
  • Florent Frederix, Scientific Officer for RFID, European Commission Infosoc D-G - Presentation
  • Stephania Congia, International Department of the Italian Data Protection Commission - Presentation
  • Jeroen Terstegge, Corporate Privacy Officer, Philips, and Member of the EICTA (Chair) and ICC Privacy and RFID Working Groups - Presentation



Chaired by Hugo Parr, Director General, Ministry of Modernisation, Norway, and Chair of OECD Committee  for Information, Computer and Communications Policy

5.1 Summary of important elements from the Forum [17:00 – 17:20]

  • Peter Ferguson, Director, Electronic Commerce Branch, Industry Canada
  • Richard Foggie, Assistant Director, Electronics and IT Services, DTI
  • Tony Taylor, European director, EPCGlobal Inc.
  • Jeremy Ward, Director of Service Development, Symantec EMEA

5.3 Open discussion of important elements from the Forum [17:20 – 17:50]
5.4 Overall summary and next steps [17:50 – 18:00

  • Overall summary by Hugo Parr, Director General, Ministry of Modernisation, Norway, and Chair of OECD Committee  for Information, Computer and Communications Policy
  • Potential future work by the OECD: next steps

For more information about this event, please contact Karine Perset: karine.perset @


Related Documents




OECD Policy Guidance on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)