Here Mr. Terrorist, Would You Mind If We Clipped This Monitoring Tag To Your Back?
from the security-theater dept
Some researchers in London say that tagging every passenger in airports with RFID could help fight terrorism. Well, they could give everybody some chewing gum, and that might help fight terrorism, too, and quite frankly, this plan sounds about as useful. The RFID tags would would be used to track passengers around the airport, and work with a set of security cameras that could follow particular people as they move around, and the researchers say it would help by allowing suspicious passengers to be tracked, and to keep them out of secure areas. That's a rather limited set of benefits, nevermind one that could be accomplished without giving every single passenger an RFID tag -- and ensuring they keep it with them at all times. Without the device somehow being locked to or implanted in people, any potential ne'er-do-well could simply ditch it, or attach it to someone else. Never mind the problem many people would have with this type of surveillance for a moment, and focus instead on the sheer uselessness of the system: it won't stop anybody from actually doing anything dangerous or criminal, it just means that if a person's been flagged as suspicious, they can be identified, and the system can follow them, and then they do something, it might get caught on camera. Clearly technology has a lot to offer security, but that doesn't mean that simply applying some technology like RFID without any real thought is a good idea.