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Labelling RFID Products

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the bright-ideas dept.

Privacy 325

John3 writes "Following Wal-Mart's recent announcement that they plan to push RFID in their stores, CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) has posted proposed legislation that would require a product to be labeled if it contained an RFID tag. Beyond the label requirement, the proposed legislation also sets up some strict restrictions on the use of RFID data. Even though RFID is not in widespread use, it's probably best to start working on these types of protections before the products are on the shelves."

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325 comments

RFID for the RFID??? (0, Troll)

ajiva (156759) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288879)

Does that mean the RFID needs to be IDed with an RFID in case someone takes off with the RFID???

My god... (4, Interesting)

xtermz (234073) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288882)

...maybe I don't get it, but how are RFID tags a violation of your privacy. They have an effective range of a few feet. They are the next logical evolution up from barcodes. Are we that paranoid and afraid of technology? Somebody please enlighten me...

Re:My god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288914)

The range could be longer with a directional.

As far as privacy, how about, "Hey, I notice you're wearing the same underware today." That wouldn't bother me, but I wont tell you what would.

BTW, I'm the guy with the antenna.

Re:My god... (1)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289210)

As far as privacy, how about, "Hey, I notice you're wearing the same underware today." That wouldn't bother me, but I wont tell you what would.

Having barcoded condoms?

BTW, I'm the guy with the antenna.

Hope that antenna isn't bi-directional.

Re:My god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288921)

People are afraid that someone will create some device to scan their cart and everyone will then know that they have HOT NAKED COWBOYNEALS, issue #69, in their shopping cart.

On an unrelated note, you think maybe the RIAA wouldn't have lost sales if CDs weren't so fucking hard to open? I swear to god, I just spent ten minutes opening one.

Opening CDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289001)

Take your fingernail or a key and score the plastic wrap on the front cover where it meets the spine.
Remove the outer wrap.
Remove the front cover by prying the 'hinges' from spine.
Twist the cover so that the anti-theft stickers peel off.
Put the cover back on.
Enjoy!

Re:My god... (4, Informative)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288941)

There are a few differences between UPC's and RFID's that make them a subject of concern. One is that you might not be aware when the RFID tag is being read. Another is that an RFID is unique, it doesn't just identify a brand, it identifies an instance of that brand. Another is that some RFID tags can be written to. I think that the benifits of RFID far outweigh the privacy risks, but I think it's a good idea to get some guidelines in place on what uses are acceptable.

Re:My god... (1)

zabieru (622547) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289174)

There certainly are benefits... However, none of the drawbacks you name are essential to the functioning of an RFID tag... They most certainly don't need to be writable, and while there are some benefits to unique IDs, in my opinion they are not so great as to outweight the risks to privacy. Why not simply port the UPC system from bar codes to radio?

Re:My god... (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288942)

Anytime you walk through a store...any store...any gas station even. You go through and RFID reader.

Re:My god... (4, Interesting)

John3 (85454) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288967)

Watch Minority Report for an example of what can happen if RFID tags are used by stores to market based on your personal buying habits or the items you are wearing. Tom Hanks walks into a store after getting an eye transplant, and the kiosk at the entrance scans his iris and asks if he enjoyed the pants he purchased on his last visit.

Imagine if an RFID kiosk at the entrance identified that you were wearing stain blocker Dockers and announced "I see you are wearing stain blocker pants...we stock a complete selection in your size, and today they are on sale".

Re:My god... (3, Informative)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289019)

Watch Minority Report for an example of what can happen if RFID tags are used by stores to market based on your personal buying habits or the items you are wearing. Tom Hanks walks into a store after getting an eye transplant, and the kiosk at the entrance scans his iris and asks if he enjoyed the pants he purchased on his last visit.

Dude, I think it was Tom Cruise. But good point. It's still scary.

Re:My god... (1)

Artemis P. Fonswick (680020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289034)

And that's bad...how?

I'd prefer being informed of sales for items I'd be interested in over having to put up with ads for products I care nothing about.

Heck, this would cut down on my shopping time significantly...and I so very much hate the mall.

Re:My god... (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289063)

I agree with you. In fact, that kind of system would solve the privacy concers! The store would not have to keep any information on you personally inorder to target marketing at you. They just have to sample your RFID tags for what you have on to know, at that exact moment, what you are likely to be interested in. The whole thing doesn't need to be recorded since it can be reproduced every time you walk near by. Sounds like it could cut down on stored information that others would have to have to do now with current technology.

But the retna thing is scary, and I don't want that. I'd where polarizing glasses everywhere I went.

Re:My god... (1)

ComradeX13 (226926) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289206)


The same theory is behind spyware, and look how well that works. . Hell, Wal-Mart screws up giving me my change, do I really want my personal buying habits in their hands?

I spend enough time keeping things designed to gather my personal information off my computers, I'd rather not have to use an RFID equivilant of Spybot to keep Sears from looking over my shoulder.

If stores want to do that kind of thing it should be completely opt-in, and something that comes with every purchase is decidedly not. As a theory RFID inventory tracking, etc, is great, but I don't think it's mere paranoia to be a little doubtful that corps will use them ONLY for those purposes.

Re:My god... (3, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289036)

I know how you feel. I would much rather have seen Minority Report with Tom Hanks instead of Tom Cruise.

For that matter, I think Meg Ryan would have been great as that psychic chick in the milk jacuzzi.

Re:My god... (4, Funny)

dameron (307970) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289065)

Tom Hanks walks into a store after getting an eye transplant


Is that the same Tom Hanks that dumped that delicious Nicole Kidman? If so, screw him, he needs nother eye transplant or his money back! She's a fox. Oh well, what can you do, he's been a jerk ever since Welcome Back Kotter got canned.

And don't get me started on Battlefield Earth. He wouldn't be squat without Tarantino pulling his career back from the pits of disco hell.

Tom Hanks, what a lamer.

-dameron

Re:My god... (1)

puck71 (223721) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289075)

I'm not seeing the downside here. Sounds like time saved shopping. I'm not saying there aren't downsides, but if you were trying to give one, it didn't work. That example would be one of the best implementations of the technology I think.

Re:My god... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289088)

that's Tom Selleck, not Tom Hanks.

Re:My god... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289110)

"Mr. Brimley, I see that you are wearing a Depends adult diaper. Did you know we are having a sale on Ooops, I Crapped My Pants adult diapers? We invite you to watch this informative message to tell you more."

"Imagine this ice tea is a gallon of your own feces..."

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289114)

Using a MOVIE as an example of what will happen? WHERE THE HELL IS MY FLYING CAR! Every movie in the 50s said I would have one by now!!!!!

(Not to mention about a billion other things that didn't happen.)

Re:My god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289204)

Tom Hanks? Been sniffing the modelling glue again?

Re:My god... (5, Informative)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288984)

If you purchase an RFID-tagged item using a credit or debit card, your name, credit history, and possibly other demographic data can be associated with it.

Walk into a store wearing a tagged garment, and your presence could be noted. Prices could magically change as you approach a shelf. Security could get alerted based on your pauper status.

This is a far from perfect association, of course. You could be buying a garment as a gift, or for a child. Of course, if a person wearing a tagged garment makes a purchase, and the association doesn't match, the information could be updated.

Re:My god... (2, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289018)

Do you normally leave the barcoded tags on your clothing? Unless you follow the international conspiracy sites, most (all, probably) RFIDs will be easily removed in the same way by cutting off the labels. Its not like they're gorgeous. And yes, you can make washable circuitry, but why? The business of clothing manufacture operates on razor thin margins as it is...

-Richard

Worse (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289133)

what happens when you walk in without a tagged garment, when they expect people to have there garments tagged?
Are you labeled as an 'undesirable'?

Re:My god... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288985)

...maybe I don't get it, but how are RFID tags a violation of your privacy. They have an effective range of a few feet. They are the next logical evolution up from barcodes. Are we that paranoid and afraid of technology? Somebody please enlighten me...

Allow me then : with barcodes, one has to purposedly point the barcode to the reader, or the reader to the barcode, or even swipe the barcode with passive readers, to read the barcode. When you've purchased all your articles at the cash registers and all your items are hidden away in your big bag when you head back to your car at the supermarket, the barcode the items bear are effectively unreadable.

Now with RFID tags, the range may be only a few feet, but these tags are readable from under the bag. It is very conceivable that, say, a shop in a high street sets up their RFID terminal to track what items you bought in the other shops in the high street. It's also possible that this odd "arch of joy" those weird Hare Krishna people made you pass under was a RFID scanner and the Hare Krishnas were marketers.

Re:My god... (3, Insightful)

qorkfiend (550713) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288992)

Yes, we are that paranoid. Americans have an obsession about their own privacy, and will usually cry havoc to the (immensely flawed) legal system when something even remotely looks like it could infringe on that.

I suppose there is some justification for this - I personally do not trust the US government or most US corporations, and I'm sure I'm not the only one out there. RFID tags could be interpreted as microminiaturized radio collars, by the (vast majority of) Americans who are not too techno-savvy, and most people fear what they don't understand. You don't put a radio collar on something unless you want to watch where it goes and what it does.

Re:My god... (1)

Dinosaur Jr. (651083) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289054)

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. So yeah... it's gonna be used against some...

Re:My god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289074)

Perhaps for your convience, unless you opt out, they log your credit card number with the RFID of all of the new clothing you buy. That way if you come back in this clothing, you can simply pick up whatever you want and walk out with it. No need to wait in line.

Once they are common, if you ever wear the same thing to the same building they could track you. Network the things and you could be followed from place to place. For your convience, of course, you wouldn't want to have to actually ever wait in line again.

And for the public safety, TIA decides its best to log all of this data. Don't worry, they'll only use it on terrorists. Anyone who tries to avoid being tracked like everyone else must have something to hide.

Facial recognition is too hard. This is easy.

Freedom. Security. Neither. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289089)

Are we that paranoid[...]?
Hi, welcome to Slashdot. You must be new here.

Re:My god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289103)

Some possible technologies come from this.

- What if they are able to uniquely identify you down to your RFID tag in your shirt, when you walk in the front door?

- They would be able to tell how many people are return buyerâ(TM)s, how many people walked in but did not buy anything, how many people never come back.

- What if this technology was placed through a mall for example, they would be able to tell who goes to what stores and build profiles. This is all about taking small pieces of information and building a profile on you, uniquely. Ever watch that has some CIA or NSA guy saying âoeI want to know everything, the dogs name, the first grade teacherâ(TM)s name, etc.â This would give anyone who wanted the ifromation great insight into what you have been doing or where you shop, what you like, etc.

Not that I am scared of being track it is just a little too intrusive.

Re:My god... (1)

tignom (562076) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289186)

OK, here's my plan. I get a handheld scanner/PDA thingy. Go to Fredericks or Victoria's Secret and scan codes for anything that turns me on. Have a little database on my PDA.

Then when I go out to a bar or other social event, I've got a scanner that sits in my pocket and tips me off whenever I'm walking up to a woman in a thong. Nice huh? Can also double as a party trick, in a disturbing kind of way.

By the way, if you don't want me know about the antidepressants you're taking, better make sure they don't have RFIDs or else don't keep them with you.

Bet you can't do that with barcodes.

OK, here's how they violate privacy: (1)

scotty777 (681923) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289192)

how are RFID tags a violation of your privacy

How about shoe manufacturers putting them into the soles of your shoes? These things can be as small as a grain of sand. Then everywhere you go, those ID'ed shoes can be "read" by floormats, and of course, tied to the customer record of the person who bought them.

I don't mind that they're tracked up to the point where I purchase them. But I want to be able to "fry" the chip as I walk out of the store. And I want automatic (and substantial) tort (damage) remedies for those who use them against me without my consent. Laws can be created to put that into effect.

BTW these things can be put in food. That gives a whole new meaning to "you are what you eat"!

Cheers

Ask Jesus into your heart today (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288883)

The ONLY Way, Truth and Life!

Not just for tagging consumers' clothes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288888)

These RF tags are perfect for tagging clothes, as the blurb pointed out. But an even more sinister use than tagging clothes is tagging the people who wear the clothes. And I'm especially referring to a certain kind of person:

Slavery is alive and well in this country, and I'm not referring merely to rhetorical or political slavery, but actual slavery. Women from foreign countries, particularly southeast-Asian countries are flown to America and promised low-paying but normal jobs performing menial labor or housecleaning services, but when they arrive, they discover to their horror that the real purpose is to prostitute themselves for the financial benefit of their masters. These women (and even children) are trapped, since they don't speak English, don't have the money to fly home, and don't have the physical or mental stamina to escape their tormentors after so much abuse.

How is this relevant to RF tags? Think of how much easier it would be to kidnap people from airports if all you needed to do was wander around with a small device, picking up the signals from the tags embedded in clothing given to the erstwhile immigrants back in their home countries. No longer would there have to be complicated networks of international communication -- they'd just have to agree on a certain range of serial numbers (of which there are trillions, as the article points out), hand out "free" clothes to people boarding the plane at departure, and sit back while agents at the US airports haul in the "goods".

This never would've been possible if we'd stuck to normal barcodes -- it's simply impossible to read barcodes surreptitiously. And since criminals are always the first to adopt new technologies for these devious purposes, it's only a matter of time before it comes to an airport near you, Thirteenth Amendment be damned.

Interesting? How about hopelessly paranoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288934)

And totally clueless? Yeah, it's really easy to kidnap people out of an airport, one of the highest security zones in the fucking country. You seem to have dropped your tinfoil hat there son, better get it back on before they microwave your brain and induce any more hallucinations.

Re:Not just for tagging consumers' clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288986)

Assuming that RFIDs get into wide use, i.e., that every one of us goes around bearing a whole bunch of responding tags, there should be an interesting market in tag association data--pairing observable tags with a specific identity. If a reader detects a particular instantiation of an Eddie Bauer jacket going by, it knows that someone wearing an Eddie Bauer jacket has gone by. But when the guy with the jacket is also positively identified (e.g., showing an ID to get into a bar), that identity can be paired with that jacket RFID, so that ever after, when one sees the jacket go by, one can make a healthy guess as to the individual inside it. You'd need to pay some service for that lookup, of course... it might be like the Central Intelligence Corporation envisioned in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash [amazon.com] , with "Gargoyles" wandering about with RFID readers, "counting coup" on individuals to note their RFID signatures as well.

Re:Not just for tagging consumers' clothes (4, Insightful)

nlinecomputers (602059) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288988)

Think of how much easier it would be to kidnap people from airports

What a load of crap. By your own statements most of these "slaves" come here to find arranged jobs. Why have "tags" and risk being caught in a crowded airport with some kind of radio. "Officer that man just waved somekind of radio at me. Stop him I think he is a terrorist!"

All you have to do is just wait till the woman shows up at your doorstep to go to work. DUH! They already have a method of rounding up slaves. Your thinking too much. Try again.

I cannot believe this got modded up. (0, Offtopic)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289094)

What an insanely obvious troll.

How could anyone with mod privs be dense enough to give it an "interesting"? Arg!

Re:Not just for tagging consumers' clothes (1)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289137)

the technology already exists. they could already do this. the article is about whether or not i want someone outside the grocery store to know just how many cans of pringles i bought today.

Re:Not just for tagging consumers' clothes (1)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289156)

And the regulations which require the labeling of RFID-tagged goods would do what here? I can see it now, "Excuse me, sir, but it seems you're using RFID tags to illegaly import East-Asian slaves for your prostitution ring without using the proper RFID-tag warning labels. Will you come with me?"

Not to mention the fact that you are full of shit; most of these women come here willingly, up until they find out they aren't going to be working in the land of opportunity quite like they thought they would; this application would be useless. And expensive. And raise suspicion. Oh, and did I mention that you are full of shit?

Re:Not just for tagging consumers' clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289171)

dude this totally happens - just like when I saw Big Trouble in Little China. But Jack Burton will stop them!!

You laughed and mocked.... (4, Funny)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288904)

me when I lined my trechcoat with copper screening in highschool!!! Whose laughing now suckers!

Re:You laughed and mocked.... (2, Funny)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289079)

Idiot! Everyone knows that it's TIN-FOIL (the aluminum kind) that blocks all radiation and mind-control rays!

It's too late for you, you are already ownzerd.

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289102)

Were still laughing and I bet you still aren't getting any.

Two sides (3, Insightful)

damu (575189) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288907)

If there is no rugulation on this technology pretty soon we can see RFID tags that point you out in a mall, and tell the mall owners what shops you've gone to and what you've bought or looked at. So this is logical that these people are trying to limit the technology in its early stages.

Re:Two sides (1)

gmajor (514414) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289027)

And how are they going to tell you what items you've looked at? Now that is _really_ pushing it.

And how would they know what stores you went to?

And if you are carrying the item with you, they won't need no RIFD tag to see what you've bought. They can just look at your bag. Does it say "Foot Locker"? You've probably bought shoes. That's a trick anyone with eyes can do; you don't need any RFID tags.

Whooptey-doo.

Seems to me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288912)

that these RFID tags would be susceptible to a low power EM pulse. A little high school level physics ought to be enough to keep them from being a problem if they bother you that much.

How about this strategy....? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289091)

Just collect several hundred RFID tags for all different and varying kinds of products and sew them into your clothing to deliberately confuse the hell out of the scanners.

Here's an idea (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288915)

has posted proposed legislation that would require a product to be labeled if it contained an RFID tag

Use RFID tags under the labels to facilitate the tracking of RFID warning labels.

Was it Ellison? or Joy? Whomever it was they said (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288926)

it right...

Privacy? You don't have any privacy. Get over it!

Re:Was it Ellison? or Joy? Whomever it was they sa (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289032)

It was Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealey.

Article text - in case of slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288930)

RFID Right to Know Act of 2003
Proposed legislation to mandate labeling of RFID-enabled products and consumer privacy protections
AN ACT

To require that commodities containing radio frequency identification tags bear labels stating that fact, to protect consumer privacy, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the 'RFID Right to Know Act of 2003'.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENTS TO THE FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING PROGRAM.

15 U.S.C. 1453 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under subsection (a) paragraph (6):

'(7) A consumer commodity or package that contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag shall bear a label as provided in paragraph (9) of this subsection.

'(8) For purposes of paragraph (7) of this subsection the term "radio frequency identification" or "RFID" means technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify individual items; and the term "tag" means a microchip that is attached to an antenna and is able to transmit identification information.

'(9) A label required by paragraph (7) of this subsection shall:

'(A) state, at a minimum, that the consumer commodity or package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and
'(B) be in a conspicuous type-size and location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.'.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRUG, TACO AND COSMETIC ACT RELATING TO MISBRANDING.

21 U.S.C. 321 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under subsection (mm):

'(nn)

(1) The term "radio frequency identification" or "RFID" means technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify individual items.

'(2) The term "tag" means a microchip that is attached to an antenna and can transmit identification information.'.

21 U.S.C. 343 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under subsection (v):

'(w) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags

'If the food or package contains an RFID tag, unless it bears a label

'(1) stating, at a minimum, that the consumer commodity or package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and

'(2) in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.'.

21 U.S.C. 352 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under subsection (t):

'(u) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags

'If the drug or device or package contains an RFID tag unless it bears a label

'(1) stating, at a minimum, that the consumer commodity or package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and

'(2) in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.'.

21 U.S.C. 362 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under subsection (f):

'(g) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags

'If the cosmetic or package contains an RFID tag unless it bears a label

'(1) stating, at a minimum, that the consumer commodity or package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and

'(2) in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.'.

SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL ADMINISTRATION ACT.

27 U.S.C. Ch.8, Subch. II is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under section 215:

'Â 215a. Labeling requirement; radio frequency identification tags

'(a) Statement required on container

'A person shall not manufacture, import, or bottle for sale or distribution in the United States any alcoholic beverage unless its container bears a label:

'(1) stating, at a minimum, that container contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and

'(2) in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.

'(b) The Secretary shall prescribe appropriate penalties for violations of this section.'.

SEC. 5. AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 15, CHAPTER 36--CIGARETTE LABELING AND ADVERTISING.

15 U.S.C. Ch.36 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under section 1333:

'Â 1333a. Labeling requirement; radio frequency identification tags

'(a) Statement required on package

'A person shall not manufacture, import, or package for sale or distribution in the United States any cigarettes unless its package bears a label:

'(1) stating, at a minimum, that the package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and

'(2) in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.'.

'(b) The Secretary shall prescribe appropriate penalties for violations of this section.'.

SEC. 6. AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 15, CH. 94--PRIVACY.

15 U.S.C. Ch.94 is amended--

(1) by inserting the following under Subchapter II:

'SUBCHAPTER III--AGGREGATION OF NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION AND RADIO FREQUENCY TAG IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION

'Â 6831. Privacy protection for consumers

'(a)

(1) A business shall not combine or link an individual's nonpublic personal information with RFID tag identification information, beyond what is required to manage inventory.

'(2) A business shall not, directly or through an affiliate or CowboyNeal, disclose to a nonaffiliated third party an individual's nonpublic personal information in association with RFID tag identification information.

'(3) A business shall not, directly or through an affiliate or nonaffiliated third party, use RFID tag identification information to identify an individual.

'(b) Safeguards

'The Federal Trade Commission shall establish appropriate standards for the businesses described in subsection (a) of this section--

'(1) to insure the integrity and confidentiality of an individual's records and information;

'(2) to insure that RFID tag records do not identify individuals;

'(3) to protect against anticipated threats or hazards to the security of an individual's records and information; and

'(4) to protect an individual against substantial harm or inconvenience, which may result from unauthorized access to or use of an individual's records and information.'.

'Â 6832. Consumer and Business Education

'(a) The Federal Trade Commission shall publish and disseminate documents with the purpose of educating the general public about RFID technology. The documents, at a minimum, shall describe RFID technology and how companies, marketers and government agencies can use RFID technology to collect an individual's nonpublic personal information.

'(b) The Federal Trade Commission shall publish and disseminate documents with the purpose of educating businesses about RFID technology and the importance of protecting an individual's privacy. The documents, at a minimum, shall describe RFID technology, advocate privacy protection, and explain how businesses must conform their actions to comply with the provisions of this Act.'.

'Â 6833. Relation to State laws

'A State may afford an individual greater protection than the protection provided under this subchapter.'.

'Â 6834. Rulemaking

'The Federal Trade Commission shall prescribe regulations necessary to carry out and enforce the mandate of this subchapter.'.

'Â 6835. Definitions

'(a) The term "radio frequency identification" or "RFID" means technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify individual items.

'(b) The term "tag" means a microchip that is attached to an antenna and can transmit identification information.

'(c) The term "business" means a corporation, partnership or other entity that collects or aggregates an individual's nonpublic personal information.

'(d) The term "nonpublic personal information" means information that a business can use to identify an individual. Such information includes, at a minimum, name, address, social security number, and financial data.'.

SUMMARY OF THE BILL (5, Informative)

donutz (195717) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288952)

From the website, the summary of the RFID Act (summary is pretty long though):

RFID Right to Know Act of 2003
Proposed legislation to mandate labeling of RFID-enabled products and consumer privacy protections
SUMMARY OF THE BILL
AN ACT

To require that commodities containing radio frequency identification tags bear labels stating that fact, to protect consumer privacy, and for other purposes.
SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.
This section shortens the title of the bill to "RFID Right to Know Act of 2003."
SEC. 2. AMENDMENTS TO THE FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING PROGRAM.

This section amends the Fair Packaging and Labeling Program by inserting language under subsection (a) of paragraph (6). This section requires that a consumer commodity or package that contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag shall bear a label as provided in the paragraph below.

It also defines the term "radio frequency identification" or "RFID" to mean technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify individual items. It defines the term "tag" to mean a microchip that is attached to an antenna and is able to transmit identification information.

Finally it describes that the label should state, at a minimum, that the consumer commodity or package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and be in a conspicuous type-size and location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.
SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRUG, AND COSMETIC ACT RELATING TO MISBRANDING.

This section amends the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by inserting language under the sections relating to misbranding of commodities. It says that a food, cosmetic, drug or device is misbranded if the product or package contains an RFID tag, unless it bears a label stating, at a minimum, that the consumer commodity or package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase. It also prescribes that the label must be in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.
SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL ADMINISTRATION ACT.

This section states that a person shall not manufacture, import, or bottle for sale or distribution in the United States any alcoholic beverage unless its container bears a label. That label must state at a minimum, that container contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase. The label must also be in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.
SEC. 5. AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 15, CHAPTER 36--CIGARETTE LABELING AND ADVERTISING.

This section states that a person shall not manufacture, import, or package for sale or distribution in the United States any cigarettes unless its container bears a label. That label must state at a minimum, that container contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase. The label must also be in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.
SEC. 6. AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 15, CH. 94--PRIVACY.

This section goes directly to protecting the privacy of consumers. First it directs that a business shall not combine or link an individual's nonpublic personal information with RFID tag identification information, beyond what is required to manage inventory. Second, a business shall not, directly or through an affiliate, disclose to a nonaffiliated third party an individual's nonpublic personal information in association with RFID tag identification information. Third, a business shall not, directly or through an affiliate or nonaffiliated third party, use RFID tag identification information to identify an individual.

Next, this section directs the Federal Trade Commission to establish appropriate standards for the businesses described in the previous paragraph. The safeguards should: insure the integrity and confidentiality of an individual's records and information; insure that RFID tag records do not identify individuals; protect against anticipated threats or hazards to the security of an individual's records and information; and protect an individual against substantial harm or inconvenience, which may result from unauthorized access to or use of an individual's records and information.

The third section covers consumer and business education. It directs the Federal Trade Commission to publish and disseminate documents with the purpose of educating the general public about RFID technology. The documents, at a minimum, shall describe RFID technology and how companies, marketers and government agencies can use RFID technology to collect an individual's nonpublic personal information.

It also directs the Federal Trade Commission to publish and disseminate documents with the purpose of educating businesses about RFID technology and the importance of protecting an individual's privacy. The documents, at a minimum, shall describe RFID technology, advocate privacy protection, and explain how businesses must conform their actions to comply with the provisions of this Act.

The last three sections relate to state laws, rulemaking and provides general definitions. The bill states that a State may afford an individual greater protection than the protection provided under this subchapter. It also states that the Federal Trade Commission shall prescribe regulations necessary to carry out and enforce the mandate of this subchapter. Finally the bill provides term definitions. The term "radio frequency identification" or "RFID" means technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify individual items. The term "tag" means a microchip that is attached to an antenna and can transmit identification information. The term "business" means a corporation, partnership or other entity that collects or aggregates an individual's nonpublic personal information. Finally, the term "nonpublic personal information" means information that a business can use to identify an individual. Such information includes, at a minimum, name, address, social security number, and financial data.

RFID is wrong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288936)

The ever growing use of RFID's to hamper person security is pretty worrisome, IMHO. I don't know about any of you, but I don't want the government [earthlink.net] to get any more involved in cyber security than they already are. DMCA, anybody?

Re:RFID is wrong (-1)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288982)

Well, to be fair, DMCA wasn't really intended for the protection of anyone's person, but their intellectual property. At least, that's what I got out of it.

I think RFID is a great idea, it just needs to be regulated well. It's no big if it's read range is only the width of an anti-theft "gateway" at the exit to a Wal-Mart.

Re:RFID is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289052)

That statement was pure tin-foil hat dude. Do you even know what you're talking about?

I'm missing one thing... (5, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288945)

Their proposal seems to be quite well-prepared, albeit a little too general. However, I would really like to see another section under "Privacy", which would require the users of RFIDs to include them in a way that would make them easy to remove. People should have a choice whether to drive with the tags all the way home or remove them on the spot.

Standards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288950)

Is there like an XML-type spec or schema for RFID tags? If lots of things are gonna have 'em, then there's a lot of room for problems occurring when items get moved out of their 'native' areas.

Cigarrete packaging? (1)

dagg (153577) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288955)

From the "Act":

A person shall not manufacture, import, or package for sale or distribution in the United States any cigarettes unless its package bears a label:

  1. stating, at a minimum, that the package contains or bears a radio frequency identification tag, and that the tag can transmit unique identification information to an independent reader both before and after purchase; and
  2. in a conspicuous type-size and prominent location and in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.

Seriously, is there still room to put warnings like this on cigarette packaging? With the cancer warnings and cartoon camels (not anymore :)), how much room is left?

Re:Cigarrete packaging? (-1)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289023)

/me thinks of RFID-enabled condoms...

maybe they could just make the RFID tag serve as the warning label :)

Re:Cigarrete packaging? (3, Funny)

Surak (18578) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289086)

RFID tags in cigarette packaging? Oh, shit, time to stop smoking!

Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289197)

Hey Surak, I tried commenting in your journal, but it wouldn't let me due to the friend or fof rule. I like your journal, let me comment :-). --dagg

Fucking conspiracy theorists (-1, Troll)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288970)

Why is RFID, on its own, such a "big brother" concern? It's not like stores can't already tell what you buy (umm, hello, those barcodes aren't just pretty decorations), and match it back to a person - You don't really think your EFTPOS transaction is anonymous, do you?
Ohhhhhhhh, so now the government can scan your house via satellite and tell that you buy Libra g-string liners ("Alert, alert. There's a g-string wearer at 325 Main St. Alert, alert")? For fuck's sake, WHO FUCKING CARES!?
RFID won't allow anything that's not already possible, it'll just make it very, very slightly easier. Tracking peoples' purchases is already possible - Not just possible, easy. The cops do it all the time as part of investigations.
If you don't want your purchasing habits to be tracked, use cash. Wear a disguise. If you use any kind of electronic payment method, or some kind of loyalty card, your button obsession is already known.

Re:Fucking conspiracy theorists (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289101)

no, but tha government could put detecors on the corners, and if a crime happens nearby, immediatly begin to survale you. you don't think thats bad? how about, bring up all the black people in the area, and bring them in for questioning? or, find out who was protestng, and bring them all in for 'disturbing the peace'? or, get me a list of everybody who participateed in the million man march, and label them as seditious?

The reason we in the US have has so many years with minimal issues liokje these is because of protections we have had and guidlines various agencies have had to adhere to. We hae not enjoyed the freedom we have had throught the kindness of the government..except the first one.

Again, its not about the pruchase item, its about tracking a SPECIFIC single item, anywhere it goes.

Re:Fucking conspiracy theorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289132)

Buy something that has RFID with a credit card, and your NAME can be associated with that number. If you wear the item when purchasing another RFID item, your NAME can be associated with that item, even if you pay in cash. As time goes on, you will accumulate enough RFID items to allow yourself to be identified everywhere you go.

Your acceptance of the technology seems to be as much of an intellectual deficiency as it is a moral deficiancy. You simply cannot wrap your little head around how powerful this technology is. And you foolishly place the fate of your identity within the hands of marketing people, who have proven time and time again, that they're completely morally bankrupt. Reptiles.

The more information someone has about you, the more power they have over you. It's not a matter of others believing in conspiracies, it's a matter of you being spineless and ignorant. How dare you insult people who have the guts and forsight to take on issues as important as this. Fuck you!

Re:Fucking conspiracy theorists (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289184)

The big concern is in RFID tags in clothing and especially shoes.

Once you (or say your household) is linked to a purchase of a clothing item RFID, what's to stop them from tracking every time you enter a store, or a fellow business partner's store? I'm sure shoe manufactures could make a mint reselling the info.

Yeah, any given store may know what I buy there, but they don't know what I buy elsewhere, and especially what I pay for with cash (say a 2600 magazine at Barnes & Noble). But if you track my shoes, or know all the pants/shorts/shirts I own, you can track every purchase I make, even with cash so long as I still have the item on me (say in a mall and I'm shopping for a few items and popping in a number of stores).

Heh, you could track "friends" of someone by tracking shirts or 'ehm, boxers and such as well.

Re:Fucking conspiracy theorists (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289194)

Giving you the benefit of the doubt:

It's about tracking things and the people that own them after purchase. RFID tags in tires could track everywhere you drive. RFID in clothes or shoes can track where you go.

Maybe you don't care because you don't do anything important to participate in the democratic process, but for anyone even involved with it to the basic level of civil duty, there will always be groups that don't agree with you that wield some power, and who are willing to use any means necessary to discredit or get you thrown in jail.

Everyone does some things that are illegal, because we have way too many laws that are very broadly written. I'm willing to bet you have committed several felonies in the past. We don't have enough resources to put everyone in jail, but we do have enough resources for a group in power to jail those with dissenting viewpoints.

Pallet Level Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6288975)

I understand that people are concerned but I believe it is a little early to be looking at legislation. As for Wal-Mart, right now they are only mandating RFID at the pallet level. This is to speed shipping and receiving and have no privacy implications. The case and unit level is still a ways off till the costs come down a lot. Let's not assume the worse yet.

Best post-purchase RFID kill method (5, Interesting)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288979)

http://www.stoprfid.org/faqs.html [stoprfid.org] says that disconnecting from the antenna and then puncturing/crushing/pulverizing is the suggested kill methodology. They warn that microwaves, though in theory effective, cause the RFID tag to burst into flames, which tends to be a bad thing.

But earlier and later in the FAQ, they mention tags placed into the soles of shoes. Since this is done during the manufacturing process and would require slicing open the sole to find/destroy the tag (if you even knew where specifically it was), it doesn't seem there is an effective tag killer in this instance (and any other where the tags are deeply embedded).

So, anybody else know of an effective tag killer that doesn't involve destroying the item and/or setting it on fire?

Re:Best post-purchase RFID kill method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289147)

I seem to recall hearing something several years ago about a microwave clothes dryer.

You could dry your clothes in this, and if for some reason the clothing is damaged, you could demand a refund.

If enough people whine, they'll listen.

Re:Best post-purchase RFID kill method (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289188)

so now the fact that I wrap myself in tin foil doesn't seem so fucked up anymore, does it? Who's crazy now??

Bend over and say, baahhhh (0, Insightful)

nzyank (623627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6288983)

Americans don't get it. Neither do 95% of Slashdotters for that matter.

I just love to come on and watch the daily whining about the continuing loss of personal liberties in America. That and the daily /. patent whining.

If you don't like it, don't cry about it here, write your congressman. Nobody but the other fools here care about your rants.

I am fortunate because I have a forum to bitch about my pet peeve which is SlashDot. That's why I post here. This is the best place to whine about /. You should be somewhere you can actually make a difference like your congressman's website or www.whitehouse.gov.

Thanks for the flamebait mod (0)

nzyank (623627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289011)

At least one person realizes this wasn't offtopic. That's the usual response.

Re:Bend over and say, baahhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289108)

or www.whitehouse.com :))

Why not disable them once purchased? (3, Insightful)

Fez (468752) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289026)

If stores want to use them for inventory, why not have them in everything -- but -- once the item is purchased, it is disabled like the security tags (for instance, they swipe it over a pad of some kind.)

This would negate the privacy concerns and let them reap the benefits of using RFID inventory.

RFID isn't exactly perfect in itself... (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289035)

Remember. RFID isn't perfect. It's operation usually falls under Part 15 of the FCC rules, which is the whole "may not emit interference" and "must accept interference, even if it causes undesirable operation". RFID also uses 900MHz, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and other public use frequencies, some of which are even also HAM bands. Amateur Radio isn't governed by part 15, so if a ham operator decides to operate on the frequency that RFID transceivers use, and if the HAM radio operator is operating legitimately, it's the RFID tranceiver's owner's problem, not the HAM's. Specific jamming is prohibited by the rules that amateur radio operators follow, but consumer use, nonlincensed devices are secondary users where both licensed and unlicensed spectrum overlap.

so, what happens when someone is checking out, and the computer fails to record all of the RFID tags because of interference, but the person has legitimately purchased something? When they go to return it, the computer could possibly say that it wasn't purchased, and then the individual is left with more headaches.

I think that the FCC should require that business-use devices like this be licensed, and each one individually identified in a publicly searchable database. I also believe that reissues of identification should be prohibited. This would work quite strongly to curtail use of RFID for tracking mechanisms.

RFID Killer (0, Redundant)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289037)

Actually, all we need is a RFID killer. I wonder if putting that new shirt in a microwave might overload and kill it...

Re:RFID Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6289202)

But what if it's your microwave that has the RFID in it, huh? What will microwave the microwave? And what's gonna microwave the microwave that microwaved the microwave? And how about the microwave that microwaved the microwave that microwaved the microwave? Not to mention the microwave that microwaved the microwave that microwaved the microwave that microwaved the microwave? And we mustn't forget the microwave that microwaved the microwave that microwaved the microwave that microwaved the microwave that microwaved the microwave? And....

P.S. Microwave microwave microwave microwave microwave!

(If your brain can still correctly process the word "microwave" at this point, I salute you. And your microwave.)

Someone please (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289068)

explain this. These tags are 'attached' are they not. Is this not like the the ad labels etc I junk after a purchase ???

From the hype I am starting to get the impression that somehow the clothing material is impregnated with some uniquely identifable device which will id me whereever I go, which I am pretty sure is not the case.

This aside, modern forensics are pretty much advanced to the point where pretty accurate is available from the fabric alone so the fuss is over what ????

Ignore the man behind the curtain ... (4, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289078)

This is tooo funny. All these people paranoid about RFID. OK, two categories of folks to worry about with RFID, PITA marketing and the MIB. Whatever about the marketing, just use a seperate unlisted phone# and a po box and you eliminate huge amounts of unsolicted phone calls/junk mail.

OK, now on to Big Bros. MIB knows that corps want RFID to save bucks (and maybe marketing, see above). Cool, MIB can maybe utilize it too (hey Joe bought a sixpack, how interesting, glad we have all these scanners everywhere). Best thing is, while everyone hoots and hollers about RFID, they fail to notice those "security" cams that can see your face + see what you bought + see the license plate of your car, all of which can be done TODAY, IF anyone really gave a crap that you bought some weiners and diet coke. We won't even talk about the instance when you use your CC. OK, so if Osama buys some slacks from Banana Republic using cash, we'll be able to tell if he tries to hop a Greyhound to Walla Walla because his RFID will set off the scanner. Assuming he's stupid enough to not be aware of the fact that RFID's are EVERYWHERE now, what are the odds that he can either disable, or better yet, make copies and distribute them EVERYWHERE, totally making the system worthless?

Like others have said, privacy, forget it. All us cell phone toting, internet using, CC charging, electricity using folks aint got no privacy at all. If RFID makes Walmart more efficient so it can hire more people, drop more prices, fatten their wallets, I say more power to'em. We techno elitest getting all scared and up in arms about tech, we have to take the good with the bad, once you open the box, you can't filter what escapes.

So why would it be hard to remove these things? (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289099)

In the example of clothing why would it be harder to remove these tags?

Even if they are embedded, a few seconds in the microwave should effectively kill any circuits in the units.

Privacy (4, Insightful)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289118)

I have no problem with RFID tags, as long as they are disabled when you purchase the product (like the tags that are used by many bookstores which are disabled after passing the book over that little pad). Until you actually hand the money over the cashier, it's not your property, it's the store's, and they have the right to keep track of it as they see fit (but not the continue keeping track of it after it's no longer their property).

RFID hackers (3, Interesting)

gouldtj (21635) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289123)

Now that's what I'm interested in. I want to be able to grab the numbers, and then change them. I want to be able to walk into a store and instead of "How did you like those pants?" I want it to say "How did you like those extra-large elephant sized condoms you bought last week?" :)

There are just so many possibilities to hack these things and have tons of fun with retail stores if they use them for anything useful. Maybe I should start my own organization: The Anti-Datamine (TAD). And we'll go around trying to screw with all the data mining techniques out there.

Re:RFID hackers (1, Funny)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289211)

I was thinking the same thing. I just can't wait to make my own transmitter and reek havic with their systems.
Can't imgine the look on their face if their computer says their store has no goods in it.

Don't be alarmed. (1)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289146)

The RFID tags in each and every one of our Cheetos are for quality assurance purposes only. The rumors about their barbed surfaces being intended to lodge in the colon are completely unfounded.

Time to put (1)

[cx] (181186) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289150)

my tinfoil hat back on!
the world isnt a safe place for us anymore, they will know we bought our pants from a store and that we wear them and like those kinds of pants. we are doomed. i can only hope they dont find out what kind of beer i like and alert me to its precense, such events can lead only to drunken catastrophe!

if anything these new founded improvements will just cost alot of money to implement but it will be easier to do inventory with 1000s of unique bar codes. im sure it will be.

i just hope i am not followed home by someone with an rfid scanner who wants my pants! "THEY SIZE IS RIGHT TOO"

anyways i cant think of anything else so if you liked this then reply and tell me how great of a person i am and i will reward you with a wink

Radio Frequency (1)

Bagheera (71311) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289152)

While the potential invasion of privacy is fairly scary, the likelyhood of these things turning into massive invasion is small. With active RFID systems, the power output will be tiny if they're going to have a shelf life of more than a few hours, which means range will be short. VERY short. While I can get a fair range with low power on the VHF bands, these things are TINY, with corespondingly tiny antennas and tiny power outputs. With a zillion of them transmitting at once, they will have a useful range of a few meters, not a few miles.

The passive tags are even worse, since they require an "activation" signal from another source - taking the radio energy from another transmitter and using it to power their own reponse. A range of 40 feet is probably optimistic. After all, the more of these things within range of the reader, the more will respond to the activating pulse and send their "I'm ID number nnnnnn!" reply. The more that respond, the smarter the reader needs to be to isolate the signals and ID's it's interested in.

The more intelligence you build into the chip ("Only respond to queries in 'this' range") the more expensive they become. The larger the antenna, the more expensive they become. The more frequencies you build them for, the more expensive they become. Etc. At less than a penny a pop, the chips are almost certainly as dumb as a stump, which makes them less invasive.

Blocking these things should be relatively easy. While I haven't intestigated what frequencies they operate in, it should be relatively trivial to shield them, jam them, spoof them, or otherwise inconvenience the reader.

I don't like them, but they don't frighten me.

Grocery Self-Checkout (2, Insightful)

baby_head_rush (131448) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289153)

This will be the best thing for grocery self-checkout.
Have you ever been in line behind Joe "I have no idea where the UPC is" Blow and watch him try to get the scanner to recognize his can of Dinty-Moore stew? It's torture watching him wave the thing 3 feet away from the scanner or swing it back and forth in front of it at 100 mph.
With this he can drop his carton full of Lean Pockets on the counter, pay, and be gone!

Retail Therapy (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289165)

Here on the South Sandwich Islands" [cia.gov] we've been using this technology for some time, the results have been remarkable, shop lifting has been totally eliminated, none of our department stores ever run out of stock, and the only drawback seems to be a small localised outbreak of testicular cancer. But most people seem to agree that its benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.

$20 RFID Reader (5, Insightful)

4/3PI*R^3 (102276) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289179)

Wal-Mart doesn't exactly higher the "brightest bulbs in the chandelier" if you know what I mean.

The good thing is that if RFID tags become omnipresent then so will RFID tag readers. As such an RFID tag reader should be small, simple to use, portable, and dirt cheap.

In fact the RFID Journal [rfidjournal.com] has a story [rfidjournal.com] about just such a reader being developed.

I guess I'll be buying one as soon as they come to market.

you can take this seriously (2, Interesting)

alizard (107678) | more than 10 years ago | (#6289198)

If and only if this bill finds a Congressional sponsor to introduce this. Which is extremely unlikely, but possible, I suppose.

However, business from WalMart on down will unite to fight any restriction or product labeling requirements.

Remember, there are people who want a Minority Report style future. There are others who simply see it as a way to make money... there are people who see "You wear adult diapers? We have Depends on sale" as simply an opportunity to make money.

It is the job of your Congressperson to make sure that his consituents are served. His constituents are the people who send him checks and only those people.

And if your RFID tag gets missed at checkout, it'll be your word against the store's that it's their fault. Enjoy your stay in jail.

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