Do We Need A Privacy Commission To Examine The Privacy Implications Of All New Products?
from the how-to-kill-innovation-dead dept
There’s been some talk today about how researchers are pointing out that the Nike+iPod sports kit can be used to track people, with the researchers in question going so far as to claim that there’s “a need for independent oversight and investigation of these technologies before they go to market.” This seems a bit extreme. Basically, what the researchers found is that you could, with some amount of effort, create a device that would be able to read whether or not someone wearing the device (which is designed to track your running information by clipping it to your shoes, and make it easy to pass on to your iPod via RFID) was nearby. You would have to be less than 60 feet away to make it work — which seems pretty close. The whole thing sounds fairly impractical. While the researchers discuss the possibility of placing these devices near people’s homes to track when they come or go from the house, others are pointing out that it’s probably a hell of a lot more effective to just sit in a car and watch the house instead. Either way, it seems pretty ridiculous to say that no product should go to market without first getting approved for privacy issues from some “oversight” committee. If the offering is really a problem, news stories like these will make it clear, and the market for them will disappear quickly. If people are fine with the privacy implications, then why stop them from buying?