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White Paper Examines Benefits of RFID, Privacy Implications in Healthcare Sector

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., in collaboration with Hewlett Packard (HP) Canada, have released a joint whitepaper, RFID and Privacy: Guidance for Health-Care Providers, which is aimed at cutting through the uncertainty over the potential application of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in the health sector and the privacy implications of its uses.

"Everyone from health-care providers, to patients, to privacy advocates, want the best tracking technology possible in the health sector, without the needless invasion of privacy," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "This can easily be achieved and become a positive-sum 'win-win' model for everyone (not a zero-sum scenario)," according to a news release.

"The objective of our joint paper," said the Commissioner, "is to assist health-care providers in understanding the current and potential applications of RFID technology, the potential benefits, the information privacy implications associated with its uses, and the steps that may be taken to mitigate any potential privacy risks."

The joint paper examines a wide variety of RFID applications for the healthcare sector, organizing them into three broad categories according to the increasing level of potential risk to privacy: RFID technology to track things alone; RFID technology to track things associated with people; and RFID technology to track people.
The paper is available at www.ipc.on.ca.

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