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Tesco Boycott Launched by CASPIAN

A campaign to boycott UK retailer Tesco was officially launched during the Tuesday broadcast of a BBC piece on RFID technology.
Jan 26, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 26, 2005—A campaign to boycott retailer Tesco was officially launched during the Tuesday broadcast of a BBC piece on RFID technology. Katherine Albrecht, founder and director of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN), launched the initiative in reaction to the British retailer's purported plans to ultimately introduce item-level tagging. Without a policy to "kill" RFID tags upon checkout, retailers will cause their customers to carry live, broadcasting chips on their persons, a reality that CASPIAN worries could be abused by government, corporations, and hackers.

The privacy concerns surrounding RFID are well known. What's less clear is how widespread the concern really is. Everyone in the industry knows of the vocal and driven Katherine Albrecht. But the seemingly exclusive media appearances and quotes from Ms. Albrecht beg the question of how much traction the broader "anti-RFID" movement really has. Yes, the ACLU has issued statements, but they were narrowly targeted reactions to specific initiatives like RFID passports and driver's licenses. Then there are religious groups that see RFID as the biblical Mark of the Beast, but this interpretation is obviously not widely held. So, in terms of negative reaction to retail RFID use, how many people beyond Katherine Albrecht are actively involved?

Ultimately, the actual number may no longer matter. The privacy concerns have achieved mainstream status, and retailers are taking them into account when designing RFID systems and policies.

ZDNet UK has more
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