Spy Chips Trip?

by Marianne Richmond on October 28, 2005

From Anita Campbell’s RFID Weblog comes the news that the US Department of State has issued final rules for RFID (radio frequency identified devices) passports and will begin testing the epassports with diplomats. If all goes smoothly, the new passports will be issued to all in October 2006.  The original announcement in February was apparently anything but smooth with privacy and security advocates agreeing with each other that the use of wireless chips would place our civil liberties and our safety at risk….despite the controversy, next years trip, will be with a chip. As an aside, Anita’s Small Business Trends Blog has been named one of the 10 Most Practical Blogs for Entrepreneurs by About.com.

Gillette & P&G are two of the major consumer products companies that have been using RFID technology for inventory management in the supply chain and experimenting with using the chips to gather consumer usage data… giving new meaning to the terms, product placement and in-home testing. Gillette razors have been on the cutting edge of this controversial use of RFID although they deny any tracking, photgraphing or videotaping of consumers.

Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, founders of CASPIAN (stands for Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) have written a book called,  Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID . Well certainly there are privacy issues with RFID…after all it is tracking technology. But these two women and their book and organization take their version of spychips on a wild trip over the top….its not just a conspiracy that they see, RFID is the "mark of the beast". In fact they have a "Chrisitian" edition coming out in January that will more directly make this link. Their valid points are not served well by their bibical, Nazi, and Orwellian references. 

And if the RFID Revalations connection wasn’t outrageous enough, CIO Insights has a quote from their book where they attack the poor marketing folks based upon "research" that has " found that marketing students score lower on measures
of ethics and academic integrity than any other university majors…and "marketing majors cheat significantly more than their peers in other business disciplines." Well, let’s compare the number of marketing majors behind bars with the number of finance and  accounting majors! And have they never been in a class with a bunch of pre-med majors?


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