Editor's Note: Tiny Tags Produce A Big Payback - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News
Commentary
4/13/2003
09:03 AM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
50%
50%

Editor's Note: Tiny Tags Produce A Big Payback

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for our Web site about two people on an airplane passing a copy of InformationWeek. Referring to a story on radio-frequency ID tags, the woman in seat 3C said to the man in 3D, "Can you believe people think this stuff will actually work?" He responded with a "they're crazy" kind of snicker. I restrained myself from telling them how those tiny tags can dramatically change supply chains, giving companies such as Procter & Gamble and Gillette unprecedented control over inventory and shipping. How they could help companies prevent billions of dollars in product theft. Or how they can even help with health-care safety.

Maybe they weren't unenlightened, but rather suspected that a consumer privacy backlash might prevent RFID strategies from moving forward. I still think there's a huge market ahead, but when I read that Benetton is now waffling on its plan to insert the tags into its clothing after a barrage of concern from privacy advocates (informationweek.com/935/benetton.htm), I realized the issue was getting more serious. Advocates of the tags have been working for years on ways to provide safeguards to consumers and to dispel the many myths that exist (Gillette will never know that you're shaving your face at 3 p.m. on Saturday). One method that's likely to come to fruition is a way of "killing" the tag at the point of purchase. "We want to provide consumers with clear options," says Sanjay Sarma, research director of the Auto-ID Center, a consortium of key RFID players.

More education is needed before we're all comfortable our privacy is being protected. But to my friends on the airplane, yeah, I do believe this can work, if companies act ethically and responsibly--something we should all demand of everyone we do business with.

Stephanie Stahl
Editor
[email protected]


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Industries with Job Openings Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/27/2020
Commentary
How 5G Rollout May Benefit Businesses More than Consumers
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/21/2020
News
IT Leadership in Education: Getting Online School Right
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/20/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll