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Gillette Pulls RFID Tags In UK Amid Protests

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the less-tabs-kept-the-better dept.

Privacy 376

akb writes "Indymedia UK is reporting that after protests against the trial of RFID tags by Gillette at a Tesco store in Cambridge, increasing press coverage, a boycott, and the growing mobilisation of campaigners against the intrusive use of the technology, Gillette have withdrawn their trial. RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags are small tags containing a microchip which can be 'read' by radio sensors over short distances (for background see SchNEWS Feature / 2 part Guardian Article)."

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cron.daily (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762921)

just started running

Are there any good uses? (4, Interesting)

dj_whitebread (171775) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762922)

We keep hearing about the bad uses for RFID technology, but do people know of any good uses that don't invade on our privacy?

Re:Are there any good uses? (4, Interesting)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762930)

When used correctly, and in the right hands (if such a thing exists), it's a relatively non-intrusive technology. Yeah, it's a moderate violation of civil liberties -- but there's always freedom of choice. And honestly, having RFID tags is less invasive than a bag checker at the door, don't you think?

Re:Are there any good uses? (5, Insightful)

dj_whitebread (171775) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762939)

As annoying as the bag checker is, (think Fry's) he doesn't come home with me.

Re:Are there any good uses? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762981)

Try fluttering your eyelashes at him.

Re:Are there any good uses? (2, Funny)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762993)

And that is one more job for us humans too. Like the economy isn't bad enough. Might as well replace the whole workforce with a small shell script while you're at it...

Re:Are there any good uses? (2, Insightful)

radja (58949) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763076)

and as for the bag nazi: no, you can not look into my bag. are you accusing me of theft? then get the cops. the cops can look into my bag. and then I'll sue for defanation.

shops are not allowed to invade your privacy by going through your bag and pockets.

Re:Are there any good uses? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762955)

If every manufacturer uses RFID tags, how is there freedom of choice? Freedom of choice can only apply when you have a choice.

Re:Are there any good uses? (3, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762991)

RFID tags are more about controlling inventory than anything else. To the extent that they are about security, they are about stopping shoplifting by customers.

The bag nazi at the door is there to look for employee theft, not shoplifting. And they don't accomplish that, either.

Re:Are there any good uses? (2, Interesting)

phthisic (684413) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763071)

At least I know about the bag checker.

And not being a sheep, I just walk right by them, don't even look at them.

Shut Up you bootlicking Nazi Fuck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763151)

All in step now, eh? You stupid skinhead fuck. When do you condone burning our books you ape-headed fuck? Stick your jackboot up your own ass or I'll kill you myself you stupid forsaken piece of human garbage.

Re:Are there any good uses? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763157)

Er... ok, but here (in uk and prob rest of europe) we don't have bag checkers on the door, because we don't go shooting each other with guns all the time. (Sorry for trolling - too early in the morning for sanity)

Re:Are there any good uses? (0)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762934)

I can't think of too many, though no doubt some slashdotters have some ideas. I suppose you could use it to find out who's been stealing your milk bottles.. er, and that's all I can think of.

I Invoke the Riot Act (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762936)

Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons being assembled immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George for preventing tumultuous and riotous assemblies. God save the King.

Re:I Invoke the Riot Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762968)

I thought it was still a she

'someone undergo an operation I haven't heard of?

Yup (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762976)

Back then a riot was a far more civalised afair. A crowd could assemble to riot, but before the authorities could move in and start busting heads, they had to have the local sheriff come to the riot amd actually read them the riot act. This gave the crowd the option of dispersing peacefully without charge, or staying where they were and getting into a fight with the sheriff and his men.

Far better than todays arrangment, where riot police in full body army can gas a crowd, or shoot into an assembly with rubber bullets, without fair warning or even reason.

I can think of one - access control (5, Interesting)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763016)

I work for a contractor of FedEx. FedEx owns or rents hundreds of buildings around town, and all of them are protected in some manner or another. Most of the properties are linked up via an electronic access control system which makes use of RFID-enabled cards. The cards are called "proximity cards," or "proxy cards" for short.

The system consists of two components, a proxy card and a card reader. The readers are mounted at the doors of many FedEx buildings, and the proxy card itself is worn or held by employees. Each employee has a unique proxy card. The cards are manufactured by a GE subsidiary [65.202.123.2] , Casi-Rusco.

It's an amazing system. When you walk near the door of a FedEx building, you simply wave your proxy card near (..within the "proximity" of..) the reader. The reader, which emits a signal, activates the RFID chip within your proxy card, and your card sends back its unique ID which in turn is tied to your employee/vendor code. Instantly - within a fraction of a second - the database is checked to determine whether or not you're allowed to open that door. If so, the door unlocks momentarily; if not, it remains locked.

As much as I hate "consumer-grade" RFID, it really is incredibly powerful (and, I imagine, rather convenient) in terms of access control.

Re:Are there any good uses? (5, Informative)

Oxygen99 (634999) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763043)

Definitely, think in terms of distribution. The ability to track packages through a system or warehouse without needing any manual intervention improves efficiency exponentially. Using RFID in this context means no more barcodes, removing concerns around the ripped or unreadable labels that increase delays in getting the package to its destination.

I've also heard it used to track railway carriages at high speed as they pass through freight yards, so that freight companies can track which containers are on what train in what order. These uses don't infringe any civil liberties, and are very useful for companies in either of these fields. RFID tech can be misused, but like most things it can be used in a socially responsible and beneficial way too.

Re:Are there any good uses? (5, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763061)

We keep hearing about the bad uses for RFID technology, but do people know of any good uses that don't invade on our privacy?

Yeah. Embedding it into the tag on my pants, rather than the pants themselves, for inventory management and anti-theft purposes. However, if we allowed that, and there wasn't a law against doing anything more invasive with it, you know that the RFID tag would slip from the tag on the pants to the inside of the fabric in the space of five years. And after that, if surveillance cameras are any indication, the government would find some invasive use for it and it would be protected under the usual argument: "Private businesses do it, so why not the government?"

That's the real problem. There are a lot of great, useful applications for RFID that aid both businesses and consumers, but there are also a lot of malicious/greedy uses for it. Since average citizens usually can't litigate multinational corporations into submission in the same way that the RIAA can sue Kazaa, Grokster, and their users, /. readers suddenly "blame the tool".

RFID good use examp: Taipei Public transport cards (5, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763070)

The new "stored value" cards used in Taipei's public transport are using RFID. These are used for access to the subway system and by some of the bus companies.

Amazingly convinient; just wave your wallet next to the sensor and you can pass through. Don't need to bother about getting the actual card out; so they get points for cool technology value.

Made out of durable plastic the cards can be "recharged" when they run out of value saving on waste.

Oh, and you buy them by tossing some coins into a machine (no need for a DNA sample)

Still can't use them to buy soda or anything else..

Re:RFID good use examp: Taipei Public transport ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763123)

It certainly is convenient for companies (and pickpockets) to be able to extract money from your purse without any interaction with you.

Personally, I'd rather deal with the inconvenience of being informed of and having to authorize any and all payments before they occur. Call me paranoid if you will...

If they hadn't pulled them.. (-1, Redundant)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762923)

.. I think they would have been more problems than they're worth. All it would take would be some pranksters to fox the system by grabbing some blades and putting them back on the box or on the shelf. And doing this every time they went to the store . The store would end up not knowing who had taken razorblades or not, and would no doubt annoy the living hell out of them.

protest (3, Interesting)

corgicorgi (692903) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762925)

RFID tags have the potential problem of a thief scanning my house to see what I have inside.

Re:protest (4, Funny)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762940)

Eyes have the potential problem of a thief scanning your house to see what you have inside. Slashdotters unite! We must band together to ban optic nerves!

Re:protest (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762982)

Eyes have the potential problem of a thief scanning your house to see what you have inside. Slashdotters unite! We must band together to ban optic nerves!

While funny, and apparently a good analogy, it fails for a very simple reason...

When people need to see what it would take to prevent unathorized scanning by optic nerves [sic], they can do so simply by looking around.

To prevent scanning by RFID tag sensors, one must first

A) Get a suitable detector
B) Configure it to read each and every of the potential wavelengths for all RFID tags,
C) Configure it to understand the protocol(s) and protocol variations for all RFID tags in the area
D) Then, without being able to actually see limits of the area being scanned, one must scan the entire area.

The issue isn't really the RFID tags, it's the relatively indefensible position they leave you in against somebody with more techology/money than you have.

Re:protest (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762985)

> We must band together to ban optic nerves!

You work for a Braille company, don't you?

Anyway, unlike light RFID signals travel through walls!

....for a total distance of about 2 feet.

Re:protest (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763005)

Eyes have the potential problem of a thief scanning your house to see what you have inside. Slashdotters unite! We must band together to ban optic nerves!

Hah, another example of windows' lack of security - you don't even need any technical knowledge or root level priviledges to see everything that's going on inside!

Fortunately, there's a patch for this OpenEyes vulnerability. It's called Curtains and Blinds 1.0.

Re:protest (1)

corgicorgi (692903) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763006)

But eye won't see thru walls. Now, RFID readers would.

Re:protest (5, Informative)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763062)

Range. I've been looking into using RFID tags, the range is horrible. With a -=large=- (1-2cm) ID tag, in good conditions (metal, in particular, seems to reduce the range), a $2,000 reader can read an RFID tag at 1 meter.

Now if you presume that readers range will increase dramatically and the costs will plummet then it's an issue. I'm not sure that's going to happen, though... from what I understand getting an RFID reader that could read a tiny tag on your stereo through your walls is, at this moment, more science-fiction than the space elevator.

RFIDs are Meaningless (2, Interesting)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762928)

Why are people so upset with RFIDs? The only possible reason I can see is that they are afraid of being tracked all the way home with them. That is a simple matter of removing the tag when you leave the store.

Using RFIDs will save billions of dollars a year. Those savings will translate to lower prices for you. What can possibly be wrong about that?

I think this is just another case of Luddites without anything better to do.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762944)

Have YOU removed the rfid tags from all the clothing you've bought. the belts. shoes. underwear. earrings. caps. hair bands. books. watches. laptop. pda. cellphone.

Have you?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (2, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762953)

No, I haven't. Personally, if people want to watch me walk all the way home, they are welcome to.

You have to see that with trillions of these devices implanted in everyone, no one will be able to distinguish you from the noise. If they are able to, then they would've been able to visually follow you anyway. What's the big deal about that?

Again, if you really don't like them, remove them. But this feels like a whole "tinfoil cap" thing.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762971)

Nice to see complacency is alive and well!.

Consume well, comrade.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763008)

> Consume well, comrade.

Some how those two C words just don't look right in the same sentence.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763017)

You have to see that with trillions of these devices implanted in everyone, no one will be able to distinguish you from the noise. If they are able to, then they would've been able to visually follow you anyway.

No one could follow millions of people. But with RFIDs and strategically placed scanners, computers will be perfectly able to follow everyone everywhere, and record it permanently in your file, to be accessed any time for the rest of your life.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763066)

Just as easily, a physicist could construct a machine that could look backwards in time to observe where someone has been in the past.

They call them "cameras". You can buy them in the store with money. And they work quite well.

But if you failed to capture that moment in history, you can always question witnesses or look at other evidence (fingerprints, tire tracks, etc...)

Welcome to reality. Privacy doesn't exist, get over it.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763127)

They call them "cameras". You can buy them in the store with money. And they work quite well.

At collecting images, not at identifying people, especially not if you simply cover your face.

What's the fuss? (0)

phthisic (684413) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763106)

Eh. It's just a shower. If they wanted to kill us, why not just shoot us when we got off the train?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763121)

Haven't you ever heard of data mining? I did some work with it a couple of years ago. It works very well; computers can very easily process that huge amount of "noise" and distinguish every bit of usable information about you and provide it to whoever has access as you walk by with the RFID tag. I quit my job when I realized how invasive the company was; they considered themselves entitled to knowing everything about every customer and using that information to screw over the customers. The company was discussed here in the past few months with respect to a geek gadget they're coming to market with. I would be very afraid of buying from them.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762983)

I don't buy clothes. The newest item of clothing I bought was a pair of white y-fronts in the 70s. Well, I say white, they are grey now.

But thanks for warning about my earrings, I'd better check them out.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762946)

But what about the privacy issues? Do you really want everyone knowing what kind of razors you shave with? My god, man, that's one step away from 1984!

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

iMMersE (226214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762999)

Does it really matter if everyone knows what razors I shave with? Does it really matter if they are able to track me all the way home? At least, that day when I'm abducted by aliens, they'll be able to tell where they picked me up from.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762947)

The savings will translate to higher revenues and profits for the businesses. It won't translate to lower prices for you.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762984)

You took the bait.

Yes, it does translate to lower prices for you.

See, businesses try to make a buck, just like you try to make a buck. While they get more profit from being able to sell something with less cost, you will get lower prices as well. How's that you say?

Let's pretend two companies are selling the exact same product. If company A finds a way to sell that product with less cost than company B, they are going to lower prices to attract more customers to them so that they get more of the profit. Company B will quickly adapt or die. If they adapt, they will have to lower their prices as well.

I'll tell you one place this has succeeded: At the gas pumps. Gas is actually selling cheaper today than it did 30 years ago. How is this possible? The costs of finding oil, extracting the oil, and processing the oil into gasoline, as well as the costs of sending it around the planet until it gets into your gas tank, have dropped considerably. Oil companies and gas stations that have refused to follow the trend and lower their prices have died. All the rest compete daily to get the lowest price while still making a buck.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763045)

Gas is actually selling cheaper today than it did 30 years ago. How is this possible?
Ooh, let me guess: huge subsidies and tax breaks to the oil industry paid for out of tax money!

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762952)

Why are people so upset with RFIDs? The only possible reason I can see is that they are afraid of being tracked all the way home with them. That is a simple matter of removing the tag when you leave the store. I think one of the chief issues is that it goes a step further than clubcards in not only letting the store know who bought what, but what they look like. It could be thought of as another erosion of our right to privacy.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762957)

Using RFIDs will save billions of dollars a year. Those savings will translate to lower prices for you.

ahaahah!
it's like saying bundling IE with Windows save billions dollars a year of advertising to MS and that those savings will tranlate to lower prices for Windows.

time to wake up dude! :o)

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762961)

In this instance, the tags were used to detect when a Gillett product was removed from the supermarket shelf and then the customer was photographed. Hence why people were more than a little upset.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0, Troll)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763009)

Okay, so you are upset because Gillet is trying to understand who is buying what and why.

I imagine a future day when I walk into a store and everything I want to buy is within arms reach. I look forward to a day when people create entire lines of products just to make me (and people like me) happy. I hate to admit it, but this "fit in with the crowd" stuff drives me nuts. I am an individual, I want "jgardn" stamped on everything everwhere I go!

What's so terrible about that?

This RFID / photograph the customer / call them and ask them questions / etc... stuff is all to get the companies to understand who you are and what they can do to make you happy. Why is that a crime?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

DjReagan (143826) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763131)

No, they're photgraphing the customer not as some market research tactic, but because the razors are high-risk items for being shoplifted. The stores are photographing everyone who picks one up off the shelf with the view of using that as evidence in prosecution.

Once the rfid has been through the checkout and the item paid for, the photograph gets deleted. Any that are left over are "obviously" shoplifters.

The problem then comes when I pick one up off the shelf, look at it, realise its not the right type of blade for my razor, put it back and pick up the brand next to it... my photo is now on a database as a shoplifter.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (5, Insightful)

YouTalkinToMe (559217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762964)

In the article, they mention that the new EU copyright directive could make it illegal to deactivate RFID tags after you leave the store.

If they just included these tags on _packaging_, I would have no problem with it. But to include them in the product and then criminalize removal or deactivation is just wrong.

Mod parent down !!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763018)

This guy actually red the article !!! Oh my god !!
Mod him down !!!

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763075)

The proposed EU Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive (see FIPR analysis) would specifically forbid Europeans from removing or deactivating Radio Frequency (RFID) tags embedded in clothing and other consumer devices!

Can someone explain to me what the hell RFID tags have to do with intellectual property? They're a way of tracking packages, short and simple -- nothing at all to do with copyrights, patents, trade secrets, or any other sort of intellectual property.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763126)

What kind of government would legislate, let alone enforce, such a stupid law?

I am not setting the USA on a pedestal here. We have our own problems with control freaks in government.

That you cannot disable or remove an RFID after you have purchased an item -- that's a problem that needs to be fixed with elections if possible, or bloody revolutions if necessary.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (2, Insightful)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762966)

Those savings will translate to lower prices for you. What can possibly be wrong about that?

Umm, the market bears the current prices, why should they go lower?

Replace "you" with "the store" and you have a point, from the perspective of "the store". Maybe thats why they leapt on this now that I think about it... :-)

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (3, Interesting)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763026)

True, true. If the market bears the current prices, and a drop in costs does not change the fact that profits are maximized at that price, then you are correct.

Consider this. You are selling 300 units of an item at $3.00 everyday, at a cost of about $2.50 a pop. Every bit of research says that that is the price that you are maximizing profits. If you lowered the price, you sell more units, but not enough to actually increase profits. If you raise the price, the number of customers drops so much that profits are reduced.

All of a sudden, you find a way to sell the exact same item at a cost of $2.00! While your profits will double at the current price, who's to say they won't increase even more if you lower the price a tad?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (2, Insightful)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763073)

While your profits will double at the current price, who's to say they won't increase even more if you lower the price a tad?

That sort of theory works well for candy bars (to the detriment of public health mind you).

I'd consider razors a somewhat fixed market. Consumers aren't going to start shaving all day because a pack is a buck cheaper, in fact a buck today for something you don't get horribly often could be seen as negligible.

You're throwing generic theory at me, we do have a specific subject here.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (3, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763117)

Yes, I do stop shaving if I can't afford it.

If razors cost more, I am going to buy less. I'll probably use one for an entire week (like I did in High School when I could barely afford my school clothes).

If razors are cheaper, I might even use two or three in one day. I like sharp razors and I notice that by the time I hit the left side of my face, the razor has already begun to dull. So I would love to be able to use two or three in a day without worry of the cost.

Compare the number of people who shave today to the number of people who shaved 100 years ago. It was actually fashionably to grow a beard back then. Many people did so, but not because they were fashion conscience, but because shaving was too expensive for them. Either razors were prohibitively expensive, and difficult to maintain, or the barber shop was too far away and cost too much.

Razors are not a "fixed market" as you call it. If they are cheaper, people buy and use more. If not, they won't. The cost of the razor is more than the price, of course. It includes things like how much pain the razor induces, how long it takes to shave with it, and whether or not it has RFID.

Is that specific enough for you?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763034)

the market bears the current prices, why should they go lower?
Because everyone will see a reduction in costs, so everyone will have the ability to reduce prices, so someone will reduce prices to gain an advantage over their competition, so someone will, so everyone will be forced to follow suit to stay in business?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762980)

If (and I stress the word 'if') RFID's save billions of dollars a year, you can bet that said money will go towards higher rewards for upper management, not towards lower prices.

Have you not been paying attention the last couple of decades?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763051)

All profits that corporations make only go into the back pockets of the corporate executives and the company shareholders. Sometimes a corporation offers incentives to its employees, but that is pretty rare.

Of course, all the costs of obtaining said profits go into the pocket of the employees (via wages) and the company's suppliers. And then all the service companies that provided the telephones, the power, the building, the maintenance, etc, get their cut too.

And you still get the product at a cheaper price.

And this is evil how?

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763003)

Not all RFID tags are removable. Those in clothing can actually be incorporated into the clothing itself.

In the case of manufacturer applied RFID tags to packaged items the tags may be inside the packaging (to prevent instore removal) and the entire package must be disposed of to "remove" the tags. This could be an issue for "Malling."

On the flip side they're pretty easy to disable, don't last long, and put out a pretty weak signal to begin with.

KFG

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763033)

That could be a problem. But I am pretty sure you can identify the people who want to remove the tags by their tinfoils hats and their nondescrip black overcoats. The store could offer a service to such people and show them the items that don't have RFIDs, or maybe even disable the RFID chip as the customer leaves the store with the item.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763082)

I don't know. I always thought my black London Fog was kinda dapper.

And hey, tin foil hats are a very practical way to keep your head cool and avoid sunstroke. Good protection against pigeon "bombed" too. I always figured that was the real reason the aliens radioed the fillings in my teeth telling me to wear one.

I guess in the future they can just radio my underwear.

KFG

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (5, Informative)

zalle (637380) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763004)

There's just a bit of a problem with removing them. From the article: "The proposed EU Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive (see FIPR analysis) would specifically forbid Europeans from removing or deactivating Radio Frequency (RFID) tags embedded in clothing and other consumer devices!"

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

danila (69889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763128)

Yeah. Make it easy to remove them and theives will do it in stores. Make it difficult and everyone will have to broadcast his identity and what he wears everywhere he goes. A difficult choice to make... I, for one, would make it mandatory for the stores to fry the RFIDs on checkout.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (3, Interesting)

glassesmonkey (684291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763046)

It's not just a UPC symbol. A RFID circuit could potentially have it's 'id' read when you move a box from the shelf. As you walk around the store, more readers could read in real-time where the box is and generate a profile of where you stopped and for how long. This could be linked to the final purchase and your credit history and past purchasing habits. They could then sell this information to other stores. Grocery stores would die for this capability and it is also coming soon to your shopping cart (and/or optical systems in the aisles).

This isn't conspiracy theory non-sense (necessarily). And it isn't sci-fi. You could implement this system TODAY with enough readers and a few linux boxes.. (I suppose you'd need a hardware interface, a database and an IT guy with a few lackeys.. probably need to make a web friendly front end.. interface with corporate database..)

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763050)

Using RFIDs will save billions of dollars a year. Those savings will translate to lower prices for you.


Since when do companies give you the savings? They exist to make profit, screw the consumer. In South Africa they banned plastic bags - you have to buy them seperately now. Do you think they lowered the prices? Because the costs of products were calculated to include plastic bags... No they did not.

This world works on greed baby.

Just my 2c.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763083)

Capitalism works on greed. It's amazing how so many selfish people could produce something so wonderful.

Why don't you avoid that store that sells its plastic bag and go somewhere else? If you can't find a store you want to go to, why don't you look at other sources for your goods?

Sitting there and complaining about the lack of perceived options means you are only wasting your time. Why don't you look around and find a greedy solution for yourself? Hint: buy things cheap, sell them expensively to as many people as you can, and pocket the difference or give it to your kids.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763081)

I think this is just another case of Luddites without anything better to do.

Not necessarily. The RFID tag potentially allows an item (such as a disposable razor) to be associated with a particular transaction.

Here in the UK, stores with loyalty card schemes have used the data from these schemes on specific customers to help the Inland Revenue (tax office) prosecute.

Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, the fact that all such data (such as whether or not I buy haemmoroid cream) will be shared with any government agency that has my name or my razor, is slightly disturbing.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763092)

Its not a simple matter of removing a visible tag. And even if i was, surely I have the right to buy stuff that doesnt track me all over the place?
I shouldnt have to remove all the privacy threatening sensors on evereything I buy before I get on the bus.
Thankfully market forces have spoken, we arent happy about this stuff.

What planet are you living on? (3, Insightful)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763093)

"Those savings will translate to lower prices for you."

Are you really that naive?

As a businessman, when you lower your cost base you *don't* cut your prices unless you have some cutthroat[1] competition who is already kicking your arse on price.

[1] Pun intended.

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (3, Funny)

slashnik (181800) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763110)

It is not a simple case of removing the tag when you leave the store. These tags will be sewn behind labels and in seams.

Some of the tags are read-write. What is written to the tag at the point of purchase is up to the retailer. Date sold, price paid, customer number (linked to credit records).

In addition it is possible to not only identify the product number but also configure a serial number.

So as you walk through the door of the store, You can be identified by your shoes and jacket. The store now that you only ever buy during the sale, you have a bad credit payment history and that you wareing your wife's underware.

slashnik

Re:RFIDs are Meaningless (1)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763118)

Really. The savings will be passed on to us?
Interesting stuff in your pipe, my friend.

Not only will not a single saved penny go in our direction, we wouldn't be allowed to remove these tags AT ALL.

Nope. Not interested. But thanks for asking.

Ciao,
Klaus

PS: My bet is that they'll try again next year, with less PR. Anf again, and again, until they make it.

Good on the Poms (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762929)

What an Englishman does in the privacy of his own Castle, is his own concern.

Re:Good on the Poms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763069)

To the people that think they will be able to put RFID tags in the goods I buy...

"Tell him he's dreaming"

So, basically... (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762933)

Gillette is going to know where you shave in the morning?

Re:So, basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762945)

... kinky!

Re:So, basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762998)

Itchy!

Tip: Use talc after you shower.

Re:So, basically... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763049)

Yeah, and that you're the sort of moron who shaves with the cardboard from the back of the package.

KFG

Acronym misrepresented (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762938)

RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags
Please stop expanding the acronym in this manner. RFID actually stands for "Really Fucking Intrusive Dongle." :)

--
Rate Naked People [fuckmeter.com] at Fuck Meter! (not work-safe)

hard drive errors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6762954)

I used to get these and other hd errors:
Jun 24 00:43:08 kernel: hda: dma_timer_expiry: dma status == 0x24
Jun 24 00:43:08 kernel: hda: lost interrupt
Jun 24 00:43:08 kernel: hda: dma_intr: bad DMA status (dma_stat=30)
Jun 24 00:43:08 kernel: hda: dma_intr: status=0x50 { DriveReady SeekComplete }

including one that said Uncorrectable Error

I put noapic in the append line for my lilo entry and it cleared the problem right up.

I hope mandrake gets it right with 9.2.

BB (1)

corgicorgi (692903) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762969)

Another technology to give me the feeling that...

The Big Brother is Watching.

Re:BB (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763020)

Sounds like you need One Stop Tinfoil Hat Shop [onestoptinfoilhotshop] !

Mark of the Beast, Part 2! (3, Funny)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762972)

Yeah... if you think Luddite ultra-right-wing militia men are paranoid right now, wait until RFID becomes widespread. UPC codes will become a relic of the past in their conspiracy theories.

Amid protests (1)

Bnonn (553709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762978)

Did anyone else read the headline to mean that people were protesting Gillete pulling RFID tags?

Disposable plastic circuits are coming.. (4, Interesting)

glassesmonkey (684291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6762995)

Conductive ink on bendable material including printable, disposable antennas seem to be right around the corner. Here's a pdf from Rochester [rochester.edu] with all the chemistry that goes into making the substrates. And an article from Business 2.0 on Plastic transistors [business2.com] (Google cache) [216.239.57.104] and how they will change UPS tracking and WalMart's forever.

The most interesting aspect for me is that these sensors (or even on-chip flash) will be powered and read in the presence of an RF field, like how most RFID tags work. We might one day have tons of passive sensors 'waiting' to be read with an active energy source.

camera (4, Interesting)

shakeittotheright (700251) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763012)

the issue with this trial though was the fact it was linked to a CCTV camera which took pictures of your face when you picked up some razors, and then compared the image with your face at the checkout. that's taking things too far too soon surely? if they introduced the tags for stock-taking and basic security first, and then introduced cctv use later on etc, perhaps people would be more willing.

Tracking your change (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763021)

I can just see the next evolution in this will be to add rfid tags to the change they give you to track where you spend it.

You can just see it can't you, after a couple of months every bank note will be as infested with these damn tags as a dog with fleas.

Re:Tracking your change (1)

saberwolf (221050) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763067)

Well, each note already has a unique serial number printed on it so if someone did want to track where your money goes they can do it just by scanning the notes optically.

I'm sure there's some people/agency that make use of the serial numbers otherwise why would they be on there in the first place.

Information safety (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763022)

What if they put an RFID on a box of condoms? I mean, isn't it embarassing enough to try to buy some anyway? (Not that I've ever had the need to buy condoms.)

Or what about hemorrhoid cream? Or a million products for which it's bad enough that one has to buy them from a convenience store in front of a cashier?

Yeah, yeah. I know what's next for me: "Hello, Mr. Tin Hat, this is Mr. Corner..."

Close! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6763030)

Phew! THAT was a close shave!

RFID doomed to failure. (3, Interesting)

Matrix2110 (190829) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763031)

This RFID thing is a dead horse. Shoot it and get over it. Until large companies start getting the idea that most people prefer control over their privacy, these sorts of technology will be regulated to the military and the police.

And boy, will they embrace it bigtime.

And looking at the other side of the coin, how long before somebody creates a RFID zapper gun?

*cough* Tesla *cough*

Just my two cents.

Deactivating tags (2, Insightful)

jeti (105266) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763037)

I dont get this:

Because RFID tags contain intellectual property in the form of a computer chip, deactivating the tag would count as circumventing an intellectual property control measure, and so would be illegal under the IP Enforcement Directive.

Isn't that like saying that breaking a CD in half is illegal because it also disables the copy protection?

RFIDs can be read+write devices ... (2, Insightful)

no_mayl (659427) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763038)

from Rafsec's web http://www.rafsec.com/products/pallet_set.htm

"Because Rafsec is a multi-protocol, multi-frequency supplier of RFID transponders, the Wooden Pallet Transponder can be used with any RFID technology, from low-cost read-only to higher-cost encrypted read-write memory."

Say yes to RFIDs, but only if they are disabled after initial use. Passing the doors of the store could tell the RFID to stop responding.

Cambridge? (3, Insightful)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763039)

So Tesco decide to run a pilot in probably the most technologically-aware city in England, and are surpised when people protest?

Best disinformation campaign in recent history (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763042)

RFID's are so demonized it's comical.

Companies (2, Insightful)

corgicorgi (692903) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763087)

Who sells these tags?

I read somewhere on the net these tags sell for around $.25 each for 1 billion or $0.05 for 10 billion. This is a huge market.

Any knows any leading companies that sells these? I might consider buying their stocks.

In Store Theft (3, Funny)

Kryptic Knight (96187) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763094)

My local Boots (UK wide Chemists) has pulled most brands of blades from their shelving because of theft.

At 6 for a pack of 4 or 5 blades you can see why they are trying to introduce tracking. In the meantime, if I want to purchase I have to go across to the perfumery counter (on the other side of the store) and ask for the item.

Then I wander down to the checkout with them. ... hmm does anyone see the obvious glitch in their new security protocol?

Re:In Store Theft (3, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#6763115)

And, according to popular culture, when you go up to a chemist's counter and ask for razor blades, the assistant always assumes you really wanted condoms but you bottled it!
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