I've recently completed some work on RFID, the result of which will be a chapter in Rosenberg and Garfinkel's Wireless Privacy: RFID, Bluetooth, 802.11 (title may change by publication date in early 2005 by Addison-Wesley/Prentice Hall.
My work will be a chapter on RFID and.....libraries (surprise!). Below is a summary of my conclusions (excerpted from the aforementioned chapter) about library implementations of RFID as of today:
RFID technology promises to change our world. It has the capability of making our personal lives and our work lives in the library more convenient. However, every new technology comes at a cost. In order to remediate those costs, efforts must be undertaken to guide its development and implementation.
Libraries should not yet implement RFID systems. Instead, libraries should be among the entities putting pressure on government and industry bodies to develop standards, public policy and best practices guidelines for its use.
Libraries that choose to implement RFID technologies in advance of policy safeguards being put in place should take extra precautions to follow evolving best practices guidelines.
Libraries should continue to protect privacy by ensuring that they are not seen as proponents of RFID before it can be safely deployed.
Libraries should work to ensure that RFID products are manufactured and used according to well-established privacy principles.
Libraries should refuse to implement potentially unsafe RFID solutions simply because they are convenient.
Finally, libraries must be outspoken in their public education efforts related to RFID. Not only because libraries are one of many industries who can benefit from the safe implementation of RFID systems, but also because RFID represents the start of a slippery slope to ever greater loss of control over our personal information.
For a copy of my Position Paper on RFID and Libraries, visit this page .