VeriSign to run RFID root directory

A standards organization for radio frequency identification tags has chosen VeriSign Inc. to run a global root directory for product ID numbers.

The Mountain View, Calif., company did not disclose the length, value or payment terms of the contract awarded by EPCglobal Inc. EPCglobal is a joint venture of two supply chain standards bodies, EAN International of Brussels, Belgium, and the Uniform Code Council Inc. of Lawrenceville, N.J.

VeriSign will run the Object Naming Service repository as the global root directory for identifying electronic product code numbers.

The service will act as a sort of reverse telephone directory, according to the EPCglobal Web site, www.epcglobalinc.org/index.html. Given a product number, the directory will return a Web address where more information about that product can be found. Using these numbers, product shipments may be tracked as they move from supplier to distribution center to end user.

EPCglobal officials hope government and industry will use this service in their supply chain management systems. The organization developed and maintains the electronic product code numbering system.

The Defense Department is requiring that vendors mark deliveries worth over $5,000 with unique identifiers, such as bar codes or radio frequency ID tags (Click for Dec. 30, 2003, GCN.com story).

Click to link to more information about VeriSign's support of the system.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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