How Much Data Are You Willing To Give Up For What?

from the is-that-so-surprising? dept

This shouldn’t really be much of a surprise at all, but the article is written as if it’s completely out of the blue that people shopping for groceries have no problem being tracked by RFID, if they receive discounts. There is a limit, though, as it depends on what information is being collected about them. This is the exact same thing as people who use “frequent shopper cards” at supermarkets, so I don’t understand what’s so surprising. Also, the article says that people balk at “more personal information” being collected – but doesn’t say what kind of information people consider too personal. Still, the article positions this as “shifting attitudes” towards RFID – which isn’t true at all. It’s just that people see it as being similar to a frequent shopper card (which, in many ways, it is).

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Comments on “How Much Data Are You Willing To Give Up For What?”

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Director Mitch (user link) says:

Same At Casinos

Those of you heading to CES already know you are tracked by video the moment you enter the casino floor and all movements thereafter are monitored.

Interestingly, one RFID demo I saw a few months ago had RFID insdie casino chips. The vendor didn’t specify which casino, but indicated it would be rolled out first for “high rollers” and they would be used to track gaming habits for “comps”, but would probably fanned out to everyone else eventually. Except, unlike the grocery markets, I doubt casinos will advertise it.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

cheap trick

The joke is that you aren’t really saving money. The stores just increase the nominal list price and then pretend they’re giving you the difference back as a discount. Studies have shown that the “discount” prices are about the same as the normal prices in other stores that don’t use these sleazy gimmicks. Eventually consumers will catch on to this and get demand laws that safeguard their privacy.

Ed Halley says:

No Subject Given

I have no problem with RFID tracking, as long as it meets these criteria:

(1) the item is only tracked by the owner

(2) when a new owner receives the item, they can remove the tracking device entirely without losing any functionality of the item, or give the item to a third party without notifying the first owner

Now, this is clear when it comes to retail goods: the store owns it until I leave the register with the goods, and I can remove the tag before I get to my car, if I so choose.

What about “service prone” items? Dell has a unique ID for each box, which aids the service crew to get the initial configuration. If it were RFID-backed, is that tracking the box, or is it tracking a physical token of the service agreement between Dell and the consumer?

What about casino chips? Today, the chip is the property of the bettor. If the casinos claim they own the chips, that means they can track where their chips go, and can ask neighboring casinos to share the tracking data. But if it’s not actually yours, can you give a waitress in a Vegas restaurant a chip for a tip? Can you swap $100 Bally’s for $100 Harrah’s on the street? If the casinos don’t revoke the cash value even when traded outside their domain, I’d still have no problem.

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