Making Smarter Consumers
The EPCglobal “Guidelines on EPC for Consumer Products” promote consumer notice, education, and choice about the technology and include consumer privacy protections. Licensing agreements for the EPC specifically prohibit its use for tracking or identifying people, except in very specific, transparent patient and troop safety applications.
The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide a responsible basis for the use of Electronic Product Code technology for consumer items. Under the auspices of EPCglobal Inc, these Guidelines have been followed since January 1, 2005 and will continue to evolve as advances in EPC and its applications are made and consumer research is conducted. As EPC evolves, so too will new issues. EPCglobal members are committed to addressing these issues and engaging in a dialogue about them with interested parties.
Guidelines on EPC for Consumer Products
1. Consumer Notice
Consumers will be given clear notice of the presence of EPC on products or their packaging and will be informed of the use of EPC technology. This notice will be given through the use of an EPC logo or identifier on the products or packaging.
2. Consumer Choice
Consumers will be informed of the choices that are available to discard or remove or in the future disable EPC tags from the products they acquire. It is anticipated that for most products, the EPC tags would be part of disposable packaging or would be otherwise discardable. EPCglobal, among other supporters of the technology, is committed to finding additional efficient, cost effective and reliable alternatives to further enable customer choice.
3. Consumer Education
Consumers will have the opportunity easily to obtain accurate information about EPC and its applications, as well as information about advances in the technology. Companies using EPC tags at the consumer level will cooperate in appropriate ways to familiarize consumers with the EPC logo and to help consumers understand the technology and its benefits. EPCglobal would also act as a forum for both companies and consumers to learn of and address any uses of EPC technology in a manner inconsistent with these Guidelines.
4. Record Use, Retention and Security
The Electronic Product Code does not contain, collect or store any personally identifiable information. As with conventional barcode technology, data which is associated with EPC will be collected, used, maintained, stored and protected by the EPCglobal member companies in compliance with applicable laws. Companies will publish, in compliance with all applicable laws, information on their policies regarding the retention, use and protection of any personally identifiable information associated with EPC use.