PARIS Philips Semiconductors is putting its weight behind a lobbying effort aimed at convincing policy makers to adopt RFID tag technology.
Speaking at a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) here on Wednesday (Oct. 5), Indro Mukerjee, executive vice president of Philips's for automotive and identification business, predicted that RFID will become the most prevalent sensory “electronic-based intelligence” technology of the 21st century. Mukerjee said RFIDs would link machines, goods, people while measuring and calibrating consumer preferences.
Predicting a market of 1 trillion RFID tags by 2015, Mukerjee said, “It’s very important that we get it right” in developing international standards. He cautione that policy makers shouldn’t jump to conclusions about privacy concerns that have stirred controversy. He assured delegates that RFID makers are not taking privacy issues lightly.
Philips Executive VP Indro Mukerjee
"You can’t hide this stuff,” he said, adding that both sides of the argument should balance the “huge social benefits of RFID versus the notion of tracking everything.”
Claudia Loebbecke, a professor at the University of Cologne in Germany, said “the technology will be there. You can’t stop it.” At a minimum, she expects the OECD to “educate consumers, governments and regulators."
Rather than regulation, Mukerjee said, “we need mandates from the governments and industry” that can help create a broader customer base for RFID technology.
Countries like Japan and South Korea are already solidly behind RFID. Taiichi Inoue, a senior consultant at Nomura Research Institute, said public policy that propelled the country’s broadband infrastructure deployment under the “e-Japan” slogan is now shifting toward an RFID-based network build out called “u-Japan,” as in “ubiquitous.”