Radio tags spark privacy worries

Friday, 21 November 2003, 2:46 PM EST

The campaigners said the tags could be used to undermine privacy.

They have called for a debate on the implications of the technology.

"We are not saying that this technology should not hit the mainstream, but we need to consider privacy issues," said Ian Brown, director of a UK think tank that backed the call.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are tiny transponders that send out radio signals. Each chip is unique, so any one item, can be tracked individually.

Some experts predict the technology will become commonplace over the next decade or so, as more and more companies use it to keep tabs on their products.

Stolen goods can be tracked, stock can be monitored quickly and a sensor could be placed on shelves which would then register when goods are moved.

[ Read more ]

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