Posts Tagged ‘humanitiy’

Anti RFID Campaign

Monday, April 21st, 2008

stop-rfid-logo

Logo of the anti-RFID campaign by German privacy group FoeBuD

How would you like it if, for instance, one day you realized your underwear was reporting on your whereabouts? — California State Senator Debra Bowen, at a 2003 hearing.

The use of RFID technology has engendered considerable controversy and even product boycotts by consumer privacy advocates such as Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre of CASPIAN who refer to RFID tags as “spychips”. The two main privacy concerns regarding RFID are:

  • Since the owner of an item will not necessarily be aware of the presence of an RFID tag and the tag can be read at a distance without the knowledge of the individual, it becomes possible to gather sensitive data about an individual without consent.
  • If a tagged item is paid for by credit card or in conjunction with use of a loyalty card, then it would be possible to indirectly deduce the identity of the purchaser by reading the globally unique ID of that item (contained in the RFID tag).

Most concerns revolve around the fact that RFID tags affixed to products remain functional even after the products have been purchased and taken home and thus can be used for surveillance and other purposes unrelated to their supply chain inventory functions.
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