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A Business Story About RFID

National Public Radio did a straightforward news piece on RFID—and privacy didn't come up.
Posted By Mark Roberti, 03.19.2007
I often get calls from journalists who want to interview me about radio frequency identification. Usually, the request starts out like this: "I'm doing a piece on the use of RFID in the supply chain and would like to interview you." I agree. The first question is about the benefits of using RFID in the supply chain, and the next 37 questions are about privacy or why RFID has been such a disappointment (you know—because it hasn't transformed the $3 trillion global supply chain over night).

Then I got a call from Jacqueline Froelich, a reporter for NPR's local affiliate in Fayetteville, Ark., who wanted to speak about Wal-Mart's RFID efforts. After we spoke, I feared the story would either end up about privacy, or about Wal-Mart supposedly pulling back or slowing down its RFID deployment.

On Monday, Froelich sent me a link to the piece that ran. This shouldn't be news, but it is: She did a straightforward business news piece about RFID.

While the segment wasn't long enough to go into much depth, it talked about the potential benefits of RFID in a factual and balanced way. I feel as if we've turned some kind of a corner. I hope other reporters will follow NPR's lead.

To listen to the piece, click on this link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=8989586.

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