The European Commission (EC) has developed a 14-point action plan to address some of the problems that could develop when everyday objects such as food packaging and prescription drug containers are equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags as part of an effort to create an “Internet of things.” Such a network could have a number of benefits, including the ability of food packaging to record temperatures along a supply chain or warn patients when they are taking two prescription drugs that are incompatible with one another. However, a number of problems could begin appearing when the use of RFID technology increases, including issues with governance, privacy, and data protection. The EC says the action plan will address these issues and help Europeans benefit from the development of an Internet of things. Meanwhile, the EC is planning to gather a representative group of stakeholders in Europe to monitor the development of the Internet of things. However, the network’s development could be hampered by the fact that Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) has yet to be introduced. The EC says IPv6 is necessary for dealing with the large number of IP addresses that will be created by putting RFID tags on everyday objects.
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