February 16, 2004
RFID passes ''The Mom''-test

Information Week: RFID Passes The Mom Test

[Stephanie Stahl: [...]] my "mainstream indicator" is whether or not my mother has either heard of the technology or actually uses it. She's not very familiar with radio-frequency identification, but she's not concerned it will let Big Brother track how many boxes of Cheerios she buys. I don't think you should be concerned either. That doesn't mean I don't take privacy seriously. I do. And, hopefully, the more consumers learn about it, the more comfortable they'll feel.

Early adopters realize they need to tackle the privacy issue head on so that customers are clear on what type of data will be collected and how it will be used. It's a good lesson for any company thinking about using RFID to enhance the supply chain.

Customer visibility of what data is collected and how it will be used would be a necessary step # 1 if large-scale RFID usage and collection is implemented. European countries usually have very strong laws about information capture, storage and usage, and I would suspect RFID in shops would be covered by this; still - consumers should be aware about the privacy implications - would Mom be equally unconcerned if she knew her Wal-Mart-purchased knickers were tagged and theoretically traceable?

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