Democrats delay open source, move on RFID

South Australian Democrat Ian Gilfillan has delayed pushing for a final vote on his long-standing open source procurement bill and will endeavour to introduce another aimed at “safeguards” on RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology before the end of the year.

“I’m not pushing for a final vote on the open source bill now because I’m optimistic the snowball is rolling,” Gilfillan, who is the SA Democrat's Science and the Information Economy spokesman, said. “The bill is now back on the notice paper for discussion every Wednesday and I feel that Independents have been lobbied to support the bill.”

The last sitting of the South Australian Parliament is in the first week of December and the bill will definitely be pushed before Christmas, Gilfillan said.

“If the bill were to be passed in the Upper House then there would be enormous pressure for the Lower House to pass it,” he said.

The Democrats had planned an open source software seminar on October 17 in Canberra but it was cancelled due to “unreasonable” travel expectations.

“We may have a seminar in Adelaide in the New Year and there will be no objection to getting government agencies involved,” Gilfillan said.

Gilfillan described RFID technology as a convenient tool that can be insidious with regard to privacy intrusion.

“I’m introducing a privacy suite legislation because although there are many benefits to be gained with RFID, normal people would be appalled if they knew their movements were being recorded,” he said. “This kind of safeguarding legislation will require RFID products to have apparent labelling. Also, part of the bill will involve regulation so that the technology isn’t misused.”

Gilfillan plans to introduce this bill by the end this year.

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