Electronic

Frontier

Foundation

June23, 2004 SanFranciscoBoard of Supervisors City Hall 1 Dr. Carlton B. GoodlettPlace,Room 244 SanFrancisco,CA 94102-4689 RE: Opposition of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to San Francisco Public Library Radio-Frequency m (RFm) Book-Tagging Plan

Dear BudgetCommitteeChair GerardoSandoval, Budget CommitteeVice-chair Chris Daly, and BudgetCommitteememberJakeMcGoldrick: EFF hasopposed continuesto opposelibrary useof RFIDs for book tagging, and including the S.F.Public Library RFID book-taggingplan. Thus, I was pleased hearthat Vice-chair Daly moved to cut funding for the library's to RFID plan, and that Chair Sandovalseconded motion at the June 19 Budget the Committeemeeting. I understand opengovernment that rules preventeda vote that day, but may pennit sucha vote at your June24 meeting. I am concerned, however,that the library may havegiven the BudgetCommitteethe impressionthat EFF no longer opposes plan. the I write to setthe recordstraight. EFF hasbeenopposed the useof RFID tagsby to libraries sinceOctober2003. I sentcritical comments the Library Commission to explainingour oppositionjust prior to the Oct. 2, 2003meetingat which the Commission was scheduled adopta library "strategicplan" that includeda plan for using RFID tags. to I urgedthe Commissionto reject the RFID plan, not only on privacy grounds,but also because its likely fiscal costs. of Sincethat time EFF has continuedto opposelibrary and otheruseof RFID tags.

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In November,I testified at a statesenate hearingheld by Sen.DebraBowen expressing greatconcernaboutthe privacy issuesraisedby government of use RFill tagsin generaland library usein particular. In NovemberEFFjoined numerous otherprivacy and consumergroupsin a joint statement againstthe useofRFID tagsin consumer items. See http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/RFID/rfid-POsitiolLstatement.php In JanuaryI spoketo the AmericanLibrary Association(ALA) in SanDiego, againexpressing oppositionto library RFID use.

454 Shotwell Street. San Francisco, CA 94110 USA 0+14154369333 0+14154369993 Owww.eff.org

0 info@eff.org

SanFranciscoBoard of Supervisors June23, 2004 Page2

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On March 4, 2003, I againspokein oppositionto the library's plan, this time at a public forwn devotedto the RFID issue. I have appeared two other Library at Commissionmeetings(April! andMay 6), eachtime urging the Commissionto reject the plan. In May, I gavea presentation aboutthe privacy issuesraisedby RFID useto a panelof the ComputerScienceandTelecommunications Board of the National Academyof Sciences Seattle. in This pastMonday, I spokeat a FederalTradeCommissionworkshopon RFID technology,againexpressing privacy concerns aboutgovernmentand library RFID use. This coming Sunday,I will be speakingat the American Library Association meetingin Orlando,Florida, urging the ALA to reject library RFill use.

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After the library commissionvoted to proceedwith the library's RFID pl~ city librarian SusanHildreth askedme ifEFF was interested working with the library on its RFID in vendorRFP (requestfor proposal)to address privacy issues. I told Ms. Hildreth that our EFF was tentatively willing to do so. I madeclear,however,that EFF was not endorsingthe RFill plan. I merely hopedto mitigate the privacy risks if the city were to adoptthe library RFill plan despiteour opposition- in short,to makethe bestof a bad situation. I addthat it was not clear to me at the time (or now) whetherEFF would be ableto work with the library at all, depending on the openness the processand EFF'sability to speakpublicly aboutinformation of learnedduring the process. In conclusion,EFF remainsopposed library useofRFID tags. My willingness to work to with the library to reducethe privacy risks associated with library RFID useshouldnot be takenas approvalor endorsement the library's RFID plan. I urge the Budget of Committeeand the Board of Supervisors cut funding for the library RFID plan. to Sincerelyyours,

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Lee Tien SeniorStaff Attorney ElectronicFrontier Foundation (415) 436-9333x 102 tien@eff.org

SanFranciscoBoard of Supervisors June23,2004 Page3

cc via facsimile and email: SupervisorMichela Alioto-Pier SupervisorTom Ammiano SupervisorBevanDufty SupervisorMatt Gonzalez SupervisorTony Hall SupervisorFiona Ma SupervisorSophieMaxwell SupervisorAaron Peskin Mayor Gavin Newsom