Tuesday, 26 February 2008

More on RFID from the EU Commission

The European Commission recently released this very popular clip (over 11000 viewings) on You Tube explaining the applications of RFID and highlighting it as an anti-counterfeit measure. Africa has an increasing problem with counterfeits (see postings here, here, here, here, here and here). Traditional methods of identifying counterfeits including holograms and bar codes, have only been partially effective as counterfeiters become more and more sophisticated. My experience has been that companies tend to take steps to prevent counterfeiting only in markets where they believe the cost is worth it. This often leaves African countries ignored. Other companies view it as the identification of a market and even, free brand exposure. However, these approaches overlook the serious problem that it can be for a brand and more importantly for health and safety, particularly when it comes to counterfeit drugs or inferior products. RFID appears to present a solution. Afro-IP's earlier post on Dataweek identified problems with implementing the technology in Africa as well as the increasing demand. The clip below illustrates some of the privacy concerns. However, both reports are positive that RFID can help considerably.

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