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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/30/2004 11:47:44 PM EST
www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/30/rfid_tag_pulldown/

RFID promoter can't stand being tracked

By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Published Thursday 30th September 2004 23:15 GMT

It's apparently okay for RFID tag promoters to watch you apply lipstick from 750 miles away, but not for a privacy advocate to keep an eye on companies using the pesky technology.

Yes, the cloak and dagger operations of consumer trackers have come under the microscope and it's not to the liking of Frontline Solutions. The conference organizer sent a letter to CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering), requiring that the organization pull down "unauthorized" photos of CheckPoint's RFID tags popping up in clothing from the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch and Champion taken at a recent event here. CASPIAN's leader Katherine Albrecht has refused to gag herself, opting instead to print Frontline's complaint online.

"It has come to my attention that you falsely represented yourself as a member of the press at the recently-concluded Frontline Solutions Conference & Expo in Chicago," the complaint states. "In addition to attending the event under false pretenses, you surreptitiously took pictures of the exhibitors’ booths and products and posted those photographs on your websites without obtaining the permission of the exhibitors.

"I am writing to request that you remove all unauthorized photos that you obtained at Frontline Solutions Conference & Expo from your websites, www.spychips.com, www.spychips.org , www.nocards.com , www.nocards.org and any other websites under your management and that you refrain from making the photos available to anyone else."

Albrecht wrote back saying she was in fact working for a "well-respected computer industry publication" and received the needed press credentials that permitted photography.

"I myself was hardly inconspicuous," she writes. "I wore a bright red jacket and a badge with my name and the word "Press" prominently displayed. I held the camera openly to my eye as I took over 200 photographs."

Along with jeans and shirts, Albrecht uncovered RFID tags in diapers, tissue boxes, baby formula, cold medicine and vitamins. RFID haters would suggest these little trackers will be used to monitor your baby's every crawl and bowel movement with frightening precision. Pop a pill and Uncle Sam is there . . . watching . . . in an uncomfortable manner.

More to the point, critics suggest that retailers are about to flood the market with RFID-tagged goods before politicians have had time to debate thoroughly the use of the technology. Albrecht's work points to a coming onslaught of trackable gear. Companies such as Wal-Mart and Procter and Gamble have not been shy about their RFID aspirations, so it's not clear why this would come as a shock, but it does. To some.

Elsewhere, a BBC reporter chipped himself, like a dog, while in a Barcelona bar. The purpose of having an RFID tag injected under his skin? Well, access to the VIP room and an easy way of paying for drinks of course. Makes total sense. A real "opportunity" as the emergent glob puts it.

Looks like things are going to end up just like Sun Microsystems' CEO Scott McNealy predicted.

"They're going to slap that baby's bottom, then slip an ID chip in their neck or between their shoulders so you can keep track of your kid," McNealy once said.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:06:32 AM EST
no shhit. You kow they may even take your picture everytime u buy Mach 3 blades... This is not tinfoil shit, this i for real. I will investigate the local walmart tomorrow and report back.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:10:46 AM EST
Wal-Mart Tries New PR Spin to Accompany Item-level RFID Tagging
"Selling the technology with partial truths is unethical," says CASPIAN

Despite widespread consumer opposition, Wal-Mart began item-level RFID (radio frequency identification) tagging of consumer goods last week as part of a trial in Texas. In an apparent effort to minimize the backlash to its use of RFID tags, Wal-Mart has also begun a public relations campaign to promote the technology that some are calling unethical.

Shoppers at seven Dallas-Ft. Worth area Wal-Mart stores can walk into the consumer electronics department and find Hewlett-Packard products for sale with live RFID tags attached. Wal-Mart's public statements appear to leave open the possibility that other goods could be tagged with RFID as well.

The giant retailer's decision to tag individual items on the store floor violates a call for a moratorium on such tagging issued last November by over 40 of the world's most respected privacy and civil liberties organizations. The move has sparked sharp criticism by the privacy community.

"Wal-Mart is blatantly ignoring the research and recommendations of dozens of privacy experts," says Katherine Albrecht, Founder and Director of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering). "When the world's largest retailer adopts a technology with chilling societal implications, and does so irresponsibly, we should all be deeply concerned."

In addition to violating the call for a moratorium on RFID-tagged items in stores, Wal-Mart has begun a consumer education campaign that CASPIAN is calling unethical.

"Read the FAQs at the Wal-Mart corporate web site and you'll find plenty of half truths," Albrecht says. "They call it consumer education, but the omissions and spin make it feel more like a calculated disinformation campaign."

Albrecht provides the example of Wal-Mart's statement that RFID tags in its stores are harmless since they contain nothing more than identification numbers. "While technically that's true, Wal-Mart fails to explain what it means for items to carry remote-readable unique ID numbers. It's like saying someone's social security number is 'only' a number, so sharing it with perfect strangers should be of no concern."

Albrecht explains that many major retailers today routinely link shoppers' identity information from credit, ATM and "loyalty" cards with product bar code numbers to record individuals' purchases over time. "If nothing is done to stop it, the same will happen with the unique RFID numbers on products. This means that if retailers can read an RFID tag on a product they previously sold you, they can identify you as you walk in the door and even pinpoint your location in their store as you shop," she said.

Albrecht also criticizes Wal-Mart for failing to tell consumers of the retailer's long-term goals for RFID. "The industry plan is to put an RFID tag on every product on Earth to identify and locate them at any time, anywhere. Wal-Mart is taking the first steps to creating a society where everything could be surveilled at all times. A shopper would hardly learn this by reading their website."

With potentially billions of dollars riding on RFID, global corporations are eager to see it deployed. However, consumer acceptance has proved to be an obstacle.

Procter & Gamble's own research suggests that 78 percent of consumers surveyed reacted negatively to the technology on privacy grounds and did not find industry reassurances compelling. Another industry study, published in January 2003, found similar misgivings among focus groups of consumers in the U.S., Germany, France, Japan and the UK.

The most publicized trial of item-level RFID tagging to date, Metro-AG's "Future Store" in Rheinberg, Germany, met with massive consumer outcry earlier this year, culminating in a protest outside the store.

"Wal-Mart may soon be facing a similar backlash," said Albrecht.

Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:15:21 AM EST
"Enemy of the State" comes to mind. THEY know.

S.O.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:15:56 AM EST
strange. And I was all upset when they wrote down a number off my reciept at Walmart when the alarm thing went off.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:20:13 AM EST
RFID's have a fatal flaw. They're a microchip, and microchips can be wiped. Apply liberal amounts of EMI and they go poop.

I predict that big brother hasn't factored in the manufacture and sale of "RFID Killer" magnetic chip destroyers. Pass your good through it, it wipes the chip. Whala, Big Brother knows nothing. You are wearing an inert piece of nothing.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 1:37:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By swingset:
RFID's have a fatal flaw. They're a microchip, and microchips can be wiped. Apply liberal amounts of EMI and they go poop.

I predict that big brother hasn't factored in the manufacture and sale of "RFID Killer" magnetic chip destroyers. Pass your good through it, it wipes the chip. Whala, Big Brother knows nothing. You are wearing an inert piece of nothing.



Nahh. The industry will get the lawmakers in their pocket to make it a federal felony to posess or use such a device.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:15:21 AM EST
Can someone educate as to what do RFID tags do for the retailers? What info do they convey?
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:15:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 3:20:33 AM EST by Synister1]
They can't ban hammers. find the chip via light through the clothing. 1 good wack and it's over with.


Or put the clothing in salt water and zap with stungun. 400,000 volts should good the chip very well.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:23:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By swingset:
RFID's have a fatal flaw. They're a microchip, and microchips can be wiped. Apply liberal amounts of EMI and they go poop.

I predict that big brother hasn't factored in the manufacture and sale of "RFID Killer" magnetic chip destroyers. Pass your good through it, it wipes the chip. Whala, Big Brother knows nothing. You are wearing an inert piece of nothing.



You already own one. A microwave. Drop one of these things in for 3 seconds and it should smoke it. If not, a good magnet will.
Between those two....Dead RFID
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:25:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 3:28:13 AM EST by SJSAMPLE]

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:
Can someone educate as to what do RFID tags do for the retailers? What info do they convey?



RFID tags are being migrated from bulk goods down to the retail package level.
Originally, they were used to track truck trailers and boxcars. When a trailer rolled into your yard and crossed a threshold scanner, you would instantly see what's on the truck. This is great if you're expecting some inventory very soon, like GM and Ford's JIT programs. Then, they moved to the pallet level, with one tag telling the shipper and receiver what was in each pallet. Wal-Mart moved forward and started requiring them at the container/case level. Each tag identifies the contents of a particular case, usually one homogenous case. Retailers hope to push these down to the unit level, so every retail item will have an RFID tag for identification.

Data may include.
Item, description, UPC code, vendor, PO, PO release, Shipment ID . . .
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:25:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:29:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 3:29:20 AM EST by cwd10]
You do realize that it would take forever to find these things if you have a cart full of merchandise. Imagine pulling out of the checkout line (after the purchase), and fumbling with all of your new goods to find a MICROCHIP! It could take hours. This sucks horseshit! There must be a way to stop this insanity.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:32:51 AM EST
So how does it track the consumer? Just at the point of purchase? or an ongoing "homing" device?

Explain it to me like I am a 10 yr old.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:37:56 AM EST
re-read Sun Tzu Art of War (you have read it, right?)


www.dn-systems.de/

www.rfdump.org/


Embrace your enemies
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:40:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Stoney-Point:
So how does it track the consumer? Just at the point of purchase? or an ongoing "homing" device?

Explain it to me like I am a 10 yr old.



Then can only be identified where near an RFID decoder. Usually, stores will put in "threshold" scanners that you walk through or under. At that point, you're close enough for the decoder to "read" the RFID tag and pass along data. However, it's only data about the item, unless the tag was re-encoded with information specific to the purchaser. Every time you pass by a decoder, it can register that information again. The same concept is used on Fast Pass toll systems. They can track you at checkpoints, but not all the time.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 3:43:29 AM EST
Ah...I see. Thanks
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