IBM on RFID privacy activists

June 01, 2004

Via RFID Privacy: ZDNet Australia reports: IBM hits back at RFID critics:

Dr Cheryl Shearer, Big Blue's global leader, business development for emerging markets, told ZDNet Australia in an interview this week "I think the RFID privacy movement is primarily an anti-retail movement, because no one is discussing this at all in manufacturing process control or its use in libraries".

Shearer added that much of the confusion was generated because individuals mistook the capabilities of RFID for those of location-based services.

"The crux of the argument about privacy is that it's all very well to have an item marked and to be able to read it but it's quite another thing to be able to do some push-based marketing on the basis of it," said Shearer, arguing "thatís what people are afraid of, location-based services, but thatís not RFID."

Even short range RFID readers can be used to track consumers if widely used in the retail sector. Yes, RFID has lots of positive usages from supply chain management to Legoland kid-tracking but if the industry doesn't listen to the grassroot movements, the backlash will be certain. People don't want their panties tracked, end of story. It's not an anti-retail movement, it's a power-struggle about control of that scarcer and scarcer resource called "personal information"...

Posted by andersja

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