Jan 18, 2006

Tag, You're It

CNN posted a story recently on using RFID technology which has been used for years in dogs (and i suppose other critters) for identification, and applying this to people. It reports:
With a wave of his hand, Amal Graafstra, a 29-year-old entrepreneur based in Vancouver, Canada, opens his front door. With another, he logs onto his computer.
It's always nice to find more shortcuts in life (how many times have we locked ourselves out of our car?), but the trouble with these sorts of technologies, is they neglect to consider the potential for nefarious uses.

The US Govt explored RFID enabled passports (and promptly got rebuked for flaws [PDF]), yet another example of applying the technology, but neglecting the concequences.

Even if the tag carries nothing more than some unique identifier, it's that identifier that introduces the privacy invasion. Picture Walmart putting tag readers on all the store shelves, and observe how one looks at and handles which products. Over time, they can amass significant knowledge of ones shopping behaviour.

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