15
Okt
2004

Spychips off the Orwellian block

Do we want our old-fashioned, wonderful privacy, or will we accept the Star Wars concepts of allowing "Big Brother," whoever he may be, know everything about us? The use of this George Orwell "1984" technology may even cut prices and provide us with more choices.

An RFID chip can be read from a distance, right through your clothes, wallet, backpack or purse - without your knowing. This is all that is needed to identify the clothes you are wearing or the groceries that you are carrying and the credit card you used. RFID chips can't be laundered out of clothing; don't wear out with time and can be well hidden. They can be sewn into the seams of clothing, molded into plastic or rubber and can even be printed. This means that the dot on a printed letter "i" can be linked to a skinny, nearly invisible antenna printed on a product label. And, then a tracker with access to a RFID reader can say, "Got'cha!" But there are plenty of nightmare scenarios. Future divorce cases may involve one party using RFID logs to prove a spouse was in a certain location at a certain time. And, future burglars could use a reader on discarded packaging that might indicate expensive electronic equipment was at an address ready to be stolen. But, another good use for RFIDs has been developed in Japan, where all the children in some primary schools are being tagged. The kid arrives at school, his clothing is tagged and readers at the door and in other key locations will keep track of him. No more kids going walkabout or astray in that school.

//pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/datelinedc/s_254932.html


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