17th level Hacker

More Kneejerk RFID Reactions

There’s a post over at LOOSEwire pointing to an article in the Washington Post about RFID being used in tags at The Internet Summit. It strikes me as Reporters without Borders just fearmongering, using the common pain point of RFID to drum up some sympathy. RFID has gotten so much negative press, and I think it’s just cause the undereducated contingent of the privacy sector has latched onto it. Sure, there are plenty of issues to be worked through with RFID, but it’s hardly the boogeyman that everyone makes it out to be. A cell phone can just as easily (and in the future, more easily most likely) be used to determine a users location. RFID tags are extremely short range devices, and pathetically easy to defeat, jam, and disable. They’re getting used in lots of applications because the tech guys are having trouble finding an application where they actually work more often than they fail. They can provide some benefit, if used correctly. I would love for my environment to be aware of me and itself, so that more of my everyday life could be automated and I could have more time for human interaction. This is what a lot of technology does. But for some reason the only mainstream press that RFID gets is negative. I would urge people to read up on RFID a bit before buying into the fearmongering that privacy groups are engaged in. There are issues that should be addressed with RFID. But just jumping up and screaming “witch, burn them!!!” whenever someone uses the technology is not going to result in progress.