RFID Spychips! Grocery Store SurveillanceWritten by Mike Banks Valentine
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More and more giant retailers like Walmart are requiring suppliers to use RFID technology. The German chain Metro Group, which operates 2300 stores in Europe and Asia has demanded same of their suppliers. Metro Group has gone even further with RFID to operate what they call "Store of future" where shoppers needn't remove items from shopping carts to pay for them. They simply pass by RFID readers and all items will be tallied and paid for. Metro stores provide RFID tagged "loyalty cards" to consumers that identifies those shoppers by reading within purses and wallets as those consumers enter and leave any of 2300 Metro stores.
Business Week Article on Metro Future Stores Protest
Target Stores announced this month that they too, would be requiring suppliers to RFID tag at pallet and case level by 2005.
Privacy loving Americans may not stand for "Big Brother" implications of a system like that used by German retail chain. An anti-RFID web site has been launched by privacy advocates and named "Spychips" for ability of chips to track consumers and link their buying habits to other personally identifiable information.
A recent piece by technology commentator Jeffrey Harrow has a chilling description of how RFID technology might betray consumers movements and link their buying habits in a huge database. Harrow is a consultant and analyst of emerging technology. He often comments on privacy implications related to implementation of emerging technology. ------------------------------------------------------------- Harrow paints a harrowing picture of RFID readers.
"The issue is that these many sensors . . . would also note passing of your car key's unique ID; unique ID of your driver's license, and even unique ID of each and every dollar bill in your wallet. ... And if all chains' main computers and those of smaller stores made this mass of random information available to say, a Marketing firm, or to other stores along your path (for a fee, of course), or to a government organization upon demand, then a very detailed picture of "You" - your travel habits, your spending habits (remember those individually tagged dollar bills?), almost everything about you, could be mixed, matched and dissected in ways that you might, or might not, agree with. This might be ultimate "data mining" warehouse."
Harrow Technology Report
RFID is publicly discussed only by technology enthusiasts like Harrow and a few privacy advocates concerned about implications of that "data mining warehouse". But as those RFID chips supplant barcodes over next couple of years, we'll be hearing from privacy advocates when Big Brother implications become clearer to consumers. Mark your calendar for early in 2005 and prepare to weather coming storm of privacy concerns that could reach hurricane proportions.
------------------------------------------------------------ Mike Banks Valentine is a web journalist covering privacy issues where you can learn about Automotive Event Data Recorders or EDR's, Computer SpyWare, Identity Theft, Surveillance, HIPAA, COPPA, TIA, GLB and privacy implications of the USA Patriot Act.
What is Software Piracy?Written by S. Housley
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Indications of reseller piracy are multiple users with same serial number, lack of original documentation or an incomplete set, and non-matching documentation.
Trademark/Trade Name Infringement Infringement occurs when an individual or dealer claims to be authorized either as a technician, support provider or reseller, or is improperly using a trademark or trade name.
BBS/Internet Piracy - BBS/ Internet Piracy occurs when there is an electronic transfer of copyrighted software. If system operators and/or users upload or download copyrighted software and materials onto or from bulletin boards or Internet for others to copy and use without proper license. Often hackers will distribute or sell hacked software or cracked keys. The developer does not receive any money for software hacker distributed. This is an infringement on developer's copyright.
Another technique used by software pirates is to illegally obtain a registered copy of software. Pirates purchase software once and use it on multiple computers. Purchasing software with a stolen credit card is another form of software piracy. Unfortunately there are many kinds of software piracy that has hampered software industry.
These types of software piracy have hampered software industry. For software industry to prosper and further develop useful software for consumers please support and pay for software. This results in better software for all.
To Report Piracy : Software Information Industry Association - http://www.spa.org/piracy/default.asp
About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com and http://www.small-business-software.net