We recently covered the development Mobile phones as tracking agents
John Dvorak, a contrarian but insightful thinker writes,"Instead of using bar codes that would be monitored by the box, we are now seeing usage of RFID tags on all the foods.A complete inventory would be displayed on an LCD panel on the front of the refrigerator".This looks so much easier to read through a long list than to actually look inside the refrigerator. The change from bar-coding food, a cheap ink jet process, to adding an RFID (radio frequency identification device) chip to each pear and orange seems like a major step towards growing stupidity and using technology for technology's sake. But the people behind the effort are serious. Still, the real thrust of RFID is headed like a runaway freight train straight into the world of personal identification. In all of our lifetimes, each of us will be tagged at least once or twice, if only temporarily—at first, maybe as a gimmick, and then for security or to prevent identity theft. Then the final rationale will emerge: control. Such use will be irresistible. And it shouldn't be too hard to convince a dumbed-down public that being tagged is a good thing. "Think of the convenience!" or "For your protection!" Much of this will begin with the increasing problem of identity theft, which really stems more from banking practices In fact, more elaborate RFID systems such as car tags that let you zoom through toll booths seem beneficial, although if there were no toll booths, this convenience would not need to exist. RFID tags are used at the museum's /labs/ exhibition centers, to enhance the visitor's experience,certainly provide some unique value in closed environments. In most cases, the thrust behind RFID stems from laziness. Total control of the public is an afterthought that will follow naturally. Identity theft comes from institutional laziness. John raises the question are we're going to fix it on the cheap with RFID? I agree - several RFID initiatives being paraded have little business value as against several real opportunities like this, this,this where RFID can genuinely bring business value.