RFID Privacy and You

Written by Rich McIver

RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) is a tiny wireless technology which hasrepparttar potential to radically transformrepparttar 135456 commerce world. It consists of an inexpensive chip, often smaller than a grain of sand, which can be read up to several meters away. The hope among retailers, is thatrepparttar 135457 technology can be used as a next-generation barcode, automating inventory levels, and thus cutting costs for manufacturers and retailers. Whilerepparttar 135458 technology does offer some potentially remarkable opportunities, it also raises some concerns with regard to individual privacy and corporate espionage.

While barcode-type RFID tags are not likely to reach consumers on a regular basis inrepparttar 135459 near future, there is little doubt that withrepparttar 135460 success of early trials, they eventually will. Consequently, concerns about privacy infringement with regard to RFID are important not only inrepparttar 135461 theoretical sphere, but increasingly such discussions have vital practical applications.


RFID tags differ from conventional barcode tags in a number of ways. It is these differences that createrepparttar 135462 benefit of adoptingrepparttar 135463 technology, while simultaneously creatingrepparttar 135464 greatest concern overrepparttar 135465 privacy issues involved. For example, under today's bar code technology, a pack of Wrigley's Gum sold in Houston, Texas hasrepparttar 135466 same barcode as a pack sold in New York City or Ontario. With RFID, however, each pack would have a unique ID code which could be tied torepparttar 135467 purchaser of that gum when they use an 'item registration system' such as a frequent shopper card or a credit card.

Continuing withrepparttar 135468 Gum example,repparttar 135469 purchaser could then be tracked if he/she ever entered that same store again, or perhaps more frightening, if they entered any other store with RFID reading capability. Because unlike a barcode, RFID can be read at a distance of up to a few yards. Meaning that if you enter a store with a pack of gum in your pocket,repparttar 135470 reader can identify that pack of gum,repparttar 135471 time and date you bought it, where you bought it, and how frequently you come intorepparttar 135472 store. If you used a credit card or a frequent shopper card to purchase it,repparttar 135473 manufacturer and store could also tie that information to your name, address, and email. You could then receive targeted advertisements by gum companies as you walk downrepparttar 135474 aisle, or receive mailings through your e-mail or snail mail about other products.

Asrepparttar 135475 technology behind RFID advances,repparttar 135476 potential for privacy infringement does as well. A more recent development is a study which reveals that RFID already hasrepparttar 135477 capability to determinerepparttar 135478 distance of a tag fromrepparttar 135479 reader location. With such technology already available, it is not difficult to imagine a situation in which retailers could determinerepparttar 135480 location of individuals within their store, and thus target specific advertisements to that customer based upon past purchases. In effect, that store would be creating a personal log of your past purchases, your shopping patterns, and ultimately your behavioral patters. While such information gathering would be considered intrusive enough by many consumer's standards,repparttar 135481 danger that such information could be sold to other retailers, (similar torepparttar 135482 way such profiles are currently sold regarding internet commerce), could create potentially devastating information vulnerabilities. While some RFID critics have pointed out thatrepparttar 135483 technology could lead to some sort of corporate 'Big Brother' there is a more widespread concern that allowing RFID to develop without legal restrictions will eliminaterepparttar 135484 possibility for consumers to refuse to give such information to retailers.

The Calling Card Alternative

Written by Robert Mann

How many times have you complained about high long distance costs and phone companies overcharging you? Did you try to do anything about it? Did you search for alternate solutions? Calling cards might berepparttar answer. Their low rates to any destination make themrepparttar 135168 perfect buy for domestic and international calls.

For a few years now,repparttar 135169 calling cards business is booming. Everywhere you go, everywhere you search you might find one: in WallMarts, grocery stores, newspaper stands, vending machines in coffee shops. Butrepparttar 135170 place you can findrepparttar 135171 most of these long distance alternatives isrepparttar 135172 internet. A quick search on Google, Yahoo or other search engines will reveal thousands of websites that sell calling cards. So, itís an easy pick, one might say. WellÖ not quite. According torepparttar 135173 FCC, almost 70% ofrepparttar 135174 calling card businesses are fraudulent. Meaning mostly that they get your money but you donít getrepparttar 135175 calling card. That means that you have to be very careful when choosing a website to buy from. On top of that, calling cards vary in number and features, so you have to chooserepparttar 135176 one appropriate to your needs. Their low rates however, come with a price at times. Companies selling calling cards use VoIP technology and other third party carriers to complete their calls. While not as expensive as a satellite connection (hencerepparttar 135177 low rates), this technology is atrepparttar 135178 beginning, so problems may occur from time to time. This is why calling cards are not usually recommended for emergency calls. For calls withinrepparttar 135179 United States however, calls made with calling cards (also known as phone cards) have a good quality and connection rate, given that you have found a good supplier.

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