RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags are small tags containing a chip which can be 'read' by radio over short distances. Recent trials involving attaching these tags to products have raised concerns about privacy, as information on the tag could be read long after the product was purchased. The tags continue to work indefinitely, so attaching tags to, for example, clothes, would could be used to track people's movements. Because RFID tags contain intellectual property in the form of a computer chip, deactivating the tag would count as circumventing an intellectual property control measure, and so would be illegal under the IP Enforcement Directive.
This consequence of the IP Enforcement Directive demonstrates the dangerous effects of IP controls on civil liberties. As computers become increasingly omnipresent, the IP law that restricts our freedoms in regards to computers increasingly also affects our everyday lives. Intellectual property law is increasingly being used by corporations to restrict the activities of individuals, and recent initiatives from the WTO aim to extend this use of IP law. The EU Copyright, Software Patent, and IP Enforcement Directives are all designed to make EU law comply with the WTO's Trade Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.