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Ubiquitous Network Societies

image of Ubiquitous Network Societies

This publication summarizes the materials and conclusion of a workshop held by ITU from 6 to 8 April 2005, organized by the Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU). This workshop served as a forum for policy-makers, regulators, mobile operators, content providers, industry players, consultants, academics and sociologists to exchange information, experiences and visions relating to future ubiquitous network societies. Topics covered include the impact of ubiquitous technologies on the traditional telecommunication industry, the role and application of RFID, privacy and public policy issues. Country case studies on Italy, Japan, Korea and Singapore are also featured.

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Ubiquitous network societies: Privacy implications

The BBC News technology website recently reported on a consumer study indicating that a majority of people in the UK have serious privacy concerns related to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, believing that these tags can be read from a distance and thereby exposing them to unwanted surveillance. RFID tags are an emerging technology that combines a microchip with antenna, making it possible to read the contents of the chip with a radio scanner, and represent a powerful new innovation in micro-computing and wireless networking. Despite the privacy concerns, many of those responding to the survey also recognized that RFID tagging could provide real benefits in the form of, lower retail costs, convenience, and crime detection.

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