Speaking of hiding technology, here’s an issue I’ve only just started to get my head around – radio-frequency identification chips (RFIDS). I know retailers are looking at embedding them in clothes, ostensibly to help with stocktaking and the like (akin to a bar code on each item I suppose), but privacy advocates are very worried.
And in a move which could get some people very worried, organisers of an internet and technology conference in Switzerland in December embedded RFIDS in the delegate badges:
“The badges were handed out to more than 50 prime ministers, presidents and other high-level officials from 174 countries, including the United States. “
One of the big conference agenda issues was, wait for it, privacy!
“The three-day WSIS forum focused on Internet governance and access, security, intellectual-property rights and privacy. The United States and other countries defeated an attempt to place the Internet under supervision of the United Nations. “
One of the key campaigners against RFIDS in the USA has a web site which explains these little critters, and what they could be used for: http://www.spychips.com/. According to reports today, she’s experiencing something of a possible smear campaign, after a company inadvertently sent her a copy of an email she wasn’t supposed to see.