Should We Be Scared Of RFID Chips?

from the the-good-and-the-bad dept

As with just about any technology, there are both good and bad ways that it can be used. Last week we ran a story about stores starting to experiment with RFID chips to monitor products within the store. Now, Declan McCullough worries what happens when the chips are widespread and continue to work outside the store. Picture the thief with an RFID scanner who can stroll down the block taking inventory of what’s in your house. Or, what happens when RFID tag logs are subpoenaed to track your whereabouts? There are plenty of questions to be raised that need to be considered early on. I agree with Declan that the technology can be very useful, and we shouldn’t run away in fear – but it is important to consider the implications of how it can be used beforehand, to determine ways to combat questionable uses. The trick here is finding the fine line between figuring out how to make sure the technology is responsibly used without blaming the technology or requiring all sorts of draconian and backwards lawmaking that we’ve seen with other technologies. For example, a potential solution would be to make scanners easily available to consumers that let them have control to turn off any RFID tag once it’s left a store. This is a simple solution that solves many of the problems, while giving the decision-making power to the consumer.

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