Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree that the wide deployment of RFID technology is inevitable and will be considered a powerful compliment to the 'ubiquitous networks society' you mention.
With that in mind I recommend that any concerned and open-minded individual involved with this technology support legislation that will protect consumers from the abuse of RFID technology. One example of such legislation I have seen is called the 'RFID Right-to-know' Act of 2003 proposed by Katherine Albrecht of CASPIAN - ( a bill that currently needs a sponsor - you can see the text of the proposed legislation at: http://www.nocards.org/rfid/rfidbill.shtml).
If the vendors and users of such technology have no ill intent, then they will be happy to partner with people who propose such consumer protection legislation right? So there's one 'constructive' example of what we can do to ensure that this technology is deployed responsibly. I'm certainly open to any other such ideas, as long as they give the consumer the right NOT to be tracked after they have purchased an item.
Ash Newman Time:
I am not a tagger myself but a university student and intern doing research about the topic for my company in Japan.
I do acknowledge the problems that the application of this technology might well have on our personal lives in future in a ubiquitous networks society.
Also the privacy policies found on the website of the Auto-ID center and its sponsors do not persudade me that the system will not be abused in the future.
However, I think we can agree that the worldwide development and application may be slowed down, may be put in legal corsets but never be stopped.
To come back to your methaphor -If you have seen the Terminator -you should know. So what options to act do we have in your opinion? -I really want to know!
I consider providing objective information and dialogue as more helpful to make the people aware about these problems to have some kind of influence on the development. By only demonizing the new technology in a way which at present does not match with the realities will make the so far uninformed people close their ears also to those just concerns. Those you reach with crying out loud may not be the ones that count.
Finally, whether or not this system will be used or be abused by law enforcement or criminal subjects will - in my oppinion - not depend on Walt Marts tagging initiative. As a consumer you will have the chance to make your voice heard (but please not screaming or crying).
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