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News.com: RFID tags – Big brother in small packages?

Declan McCullagh writes about his concerns with privacy involving RFID tags.

Don’t get me wrong. RFID tags are, on the whole, a useful development and a compelling technology. They permit retailers to slim inventory levels and reduce theft, which one industry group estimates at $50 billion a year. With RFID tags providing economic efficiencies for businesses, consumers likely will end up with more choices and lower prices. Besides, wouldn’t it be handy to grab a few items from store shelves and simply walk out, with the purchase automatically debited from your (hopefully secure) RFID’d credit card?

The privacy threat comes when RFID tags remain active once you leave a store. That’s the scenario that should raise alarms–and currently the RFID industry seems to be giving mixed signals about whether the tags will be disabled or left enabled by default.

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