Monday, October 10, 2005

Is RFID So Scary?

A story in the Boston Globe covers extensive privacy abuses involving RFID :
'Why is this so scary? Because so many of us pay for our purchases with credit or debit cards, which contain our names, addresses, and other sensitive information. Now imagine a store with RFID chips embedded in every product. At checkout time, the digital code in each item is associated with our credit card data. From now on, that particular pair of shoes or carton of cigarettes is associated with you. Even if you throw them away, the RFID chips will survive. Indeed, Albrecht and McIntyre learned that the phone company BellSouth Corp. had applied for a patent on a system for scanning RFID tags in trash, and using the data to study the shopping patterns of individual consumers.'

I think people will naturally feel paranoid about letting companies and government agencies use RFID to track nearly every move we make.