Monday, April 18, 2005

Tracking frat-boys

I'm no conspiracy theorists and I don't wear Abercrombie & Fitch, but this webpage is a bit freaky. I understand that RFID tags would be used by retailers initially to forestall theft, but we all know that the information they could provide would be irresistable. Given time and resources, retailers and marketers could use these RFID to track and collect customers' habits, patterns and travel, and use that information to target them even more specifically. Imagine, as in the movie "Minority Report", advertisements that know who you are and can address you specifically.

More ominous, in my opinion, are the tiny RFID tags discussed in this CNET article which can be high-powered and nearly invisible to the eye. These are being developed with virtually no input from the public and with what appears to be limited regulation. There's no stopping technological advancement, but it'd be nice to have a say in how it's employed.