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FCC approves RFID rules for commercial shipping

WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission approved rules improving radio frequency identification systems for commercial shipping operations, a move that comes as enterprise applications and consumer concerns about the wireless technology attract increased attention on business and regulatory fronts.

The FCC ruling increases the maximum power level of RFID systems in the 433.5-434.5 MHz band and allows longer transmissions for commercial shipping containers in industrial areas. As such, far more data can be transmitted, enabling businesses to lower shipping costs through more efficient inventory control. The FCC said new rules will help companies better determine whether any tampering of contents has occurred during shipping.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission will hold a workshop June 21 on consumer and security issues associated with RFID systems.

“By bringing together RFID proponents, privacy advocates and other interested parties, the workshop will facilitate discussion of core public policy issues and encourage the development of best practices that capitalize on the efficiencies generated by RFID without compromising consumers’ privacy and security,” the FTC stated.

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