Italian clothing designer Benetton today denied recent reports that it is putting radio frequency identification (RFID) tags into its garments.

A statement from the company said: "No microchips (smart labels) are present in the more than 100 million garments produced and sold throughout the world under its brand names, including the Sisley brand."

Earlier this month Royal Philips Electronics, one of the companies behind the tags, described plans to introduce the smart-tags to Benetton's core Sisley brand as "the single biggest rollout of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in the fashion industry to date."

But Benetton now says it is currently analysing RFID technology to evaluate its technical characteristics and emphasises that "no feasibility studies have yet been undertaken with a view to the possible industrial introduction of this technology."

The company adds: "On completion of all studies on this matter, including careful analysis of potential implications relating to individual privacy, the company reserves the right to take the most appropriate decision to generate maximum value for its stakeholders and customers.

The initial story caused a wave of concern amongst privacy advocates who were worried that the technology could lend itself to unauthorised customer monitoring.