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Industry Leaders Endorse Privacy Guidelines for New Technology

WASHINGTON - The boards of directors of the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today endorsed guidelines designed for use by companies engaged in the large-scale deployment of Electronic Product Code (EPC) to ensure consumers' privacy rights.

"These guidelines, developed by EPCGlobal for the use of our industry, are an important step in the development of EPC and RFID," said GMA c.e.o. and president C. Manly Molpus. "As the industry adopts these technologies, we are committed to doing so in a way that protects consumer privacy and offers consumer benefits. GMA and its member companies will continue to participate in discussions about the responsible use of EPC and RFID in the consumer packaged goods industry."

The guidelines cover four areas:

-- Consumer notice: Consumers will be given clear notice of the presence of EPC through the use of an EPC logo or other identifier on products or packaging.

-- Consumer choice: Consumers will be informed how to discard, disable or remove EPC tags from purchases. In most cases, plans are for the EPC tags to be part of the disposable product packaging.

-- Consumer education: Consumers will be able to easily to obtain accurate information about EPC and its applications. Companies using EPC tags at the consumer level will help consumers understand the technology.

-- Record use, retention and security: As with conventional bar code technology, companies will use, maintain and protect records generated through EPC in compliance with all applicable laws. Companies will publish their policies regarding the protection of any consumer specific data generated through their operations.

EPCGlobal Inc. develops and oversees standards for the EPC network. The company also provides a global number registry service for electronic product codes in the supply chain.
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