Time to Shine

By Mark Roberti

Companies around the world are pitching in to help those in need.

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Years ago, when radio frequency identification (RFID) technology first got people’s attention, privacy advocates took advantage of the public’s ignorance to promote scare stories. Companies would sell you stuff with tags in it and track you via satellite, they claimed. Those who opposed RFID as a “Big Brother” technology shared the view that all businesspeople are evil (or at least amoral) and, therefore, they would use the technology for malevolent ends.

As a businessperson covering RFID technology, I naturally rejected this viewpoint. Businesspeople are mothers and fathers. They are religious people and atheists. They are people who want to make money, but they are often people who want to give back.

I’ve been thinking about this naïve, self-righteous view of the privacy people recently because the coronavirus pandemic has brought out the good in a lot of businesspeople. Some businesspeople are nefarious, just as some people in any segment of the population are bad. Others, however, are beautiful people.

Microsoft recently announced that it will keep paying hourly personnel who clean and maintain its Redmond campus, even though they can’t work. Starbucks is updating its mental health benefits to include 20 free in-person or video sessions. Lululemon, Patagonia, REI, VF Corp. and other retailers have said they will pay their staff even though stores are closed. Hanes, the undergarments producer, is retrofitting stores to make masks. And several distilleries are producing bottles of hand-sanitizers and giving them away.

I could go on, but you get the point. We’re all part of our communities. We all want to help. If your RFID company is doing something laudable, or if you know of an RFID company doing something, please let me know. I would love to highlight your efforts.

Stay safe and be well.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal.