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RFID Misinformation Propagates

Until RFID purveyors and implementors start resonding by educating their consumers, the general public can't be blamed for their resistance to the technology's adoption.
Tags: Privacy
Mar 07, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 7, 2005—This article that appeared on Yahoo! News paints a hypothetical image of a nosy technology enthusiast inconspicuously sitting at an outdoor cafe with his RFID reader-equipped laptop scanning the personal information of unwitting passers-by. He identifies a group of truant youngsters and the school, room number, and class from which they are absent; a tourist family and where they're from, where they've been, and their names and ages; and finally, a woman and the contents and prices of her shopping bags. Basically, it's the standard hyperbole written and widely believed about RFID that continues to thrive in the absence of meaningful education and communication from our industry. So long as there exists this vacuum of accurate knowledge about RFID capabilities and potential uses, such misinformation will persist and RFID's name will suffer further smearing and arouse increased suspicion. Long term, it can only serve to stunt widespread RFID adoption and hurt the industry.

Such deafening silence begs the question of whether the industry isn't reacting because such doomsday visions actually have some truth to them. Until RFID purveyors and implementers start responding by educating their consumers and being more forthcoming about their aims with respect to the technology, the general public can't be blamed for their resistance to its adoption.

One glaring exception that deserves mention is the admirable effort by U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer, whose recently planned expansion of item-level tagging to 44 more of its locations includes a comprehensive strategy to address privacy concerns. Take notes - every retailer should be so proactive.

The scare story is here
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