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Tom Ridge to Speak at RFID Journal LIVE!

The former secretary of homeland security will explain the important role technologies such as RFID play in securing the supply chain.
By Bob Violino
Feb 14, 2005RFID Journal the world's leading media company focused on RFID technology, announced that Tom Ridge, the former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will deliver the opening keynote address at its third annual executive conference, RFID Journal LIVE! 2005, which will be held in Chicago, Apr. 10 to 12, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. Ridge will discuss the important role technologies such as RFID play in securing the supply chain and protecting against a terrorist attack.

President Bush appointed Ridge as the first secretary of homeland security when Bush created the new cabinet department in February 2003. Ridge served for two years, bringing together 22 government agencies and 180,000 government employees previously working in a variety of different departments and agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the bureau of Immigration and Naturalization Services.

Tom Ridge
During Ridge's tenure, the Department of Homeland Security launched a number of initiatives to test RFID's ability to secure the supply chain and the borders of the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, under the DHS, launched the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, which has tested RFID and other technologies in the supply chain.

The DHS's Transportation Security Administration is testing RFID in airports to see if the technology can improve the screening and handling of airline baggage. The TSA has also launched the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, which ultimately could use smart cards to identify 12 million to 15 million workers at airports, seaports, rail yards and other transportation facilities across the country. (For more on the DHS's use of RFID, see RFID Employed Against Terrorism).

Last month, the DHS said it would test RFID at three border crossings (see Homeland Security to Test RFID) by midyear. Unique identification numbers stored on the RFID tags will be linked to digital images of fingerprints and photos in a database. Border patrol agents will be able to call up a person's photo and fingerprint by reading the RFID tag.

"Tom Ridge was a leader in promoting the use of technology to make state government more efficient when was governor of Pennsylvania, and he's been a champion of using RFID and other technologies to secure the supply chain and borders of the United States," says Mark Roberti, founder and editor of RFID Journal. "We're extremely pleased and honored to have Secretary Ridge deliver our opening keynote at RFID Journal LIVE! 2005."

The event will feature speeches by Alan Estevez, the assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for supply chain integration; Simon Langford, Wal-Mart's manager of RFID strategy; Mike O'Shea, director of corporate auto-ID/RFID strategies and technology at Kimberly-Clark; John Clarke, chief technology officer at Tesco; and many other end users.

In addition to presenting a line-up of educational content, RFID Journal LIVE! 2005 is hosting a sold-out exhibition floor that will feature more than 100 hardware, software and integration vendors, including Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, Intel, Oracle, Unisys and VeriSign. A full list of speakers and exhibiting companies is available on the RFID Journal LIVE! 2005 Web site.
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