Anyone have word on whether an embedded NFC could be completely
disabled by the owner? Otherwise it's something I'll never purchase.
Originally Posted by euler
Imagine going up to vending machine, say, and buying a snack there and charging it via your iPhone to your iTunes account. Even 0.5% per transaction could be huge.
And imagine going up to a vending machine, buying a snack with your NFC, and having every aspect of that transaction logged, added to your personal profile and sold to marketers. Who you are, where you are, what time it is, are you there every day at that time, what else do you buy there.... That part isn't an IF, but a WHEN. Eventually, if legislation concerning RFID usage for tracking doesn't happen, not only every transaction, but every physical movement you make will be trackable. Instead of knee-jerk "tinfoil hat" comments, people should read up on what's happening, because it will take pressure from consumers to keep this technology in check (cheque! ;-) ). This technology provides the potential for new conveniences, but privacy protections need to be built in from the start.
One doesn't have to be a gub'mint conspiracy theorist to see that massive personal profiling is already
happening online. These companies use every tool available, including ignorance, apathy and deception. Personal profiles are incredibly valuable, and because (virtually) all companies are motivated by profit, they will take advantage of whatever data they are allowed to use. This trend will push to the offline world if we allow it.
Sadly, whether or not you care about being tracked and profiled depends mostly on your generation. Obviously if you're a foursquare user, you don't give a shit, and don't care about people knowing you're not home, etc. (see: pleaserobme.com, hope you don't have a family) At least with Foursquare you can decide to participate or not by turning it off, but if/when RFID tags are embedded in our clothing and/or in our phones, all bets are off. That means kids would be tracked as well, which is beyond creepy. And yes, these things can easily be read at a distance, with custom hardware.
Some efforts to embed RFID in clothing have thus far been thwarted by public education, i.e. the Benneton boycott. Walmart is a huge proponent of RFID, and was planning to embed in various clothing, but appears to have switched, for now, to putting them on removable tags. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...061198090.html
(anyone have more info on the current status of this?)
For a commonsense (non-fanatical) review of location-based privacy issues, read this:http://www.eff.org/wp/locational-privacy
And this, if you think using "anonymous" numeric IDs are really anonymous:http://epic.org/privacy/reidentification/
Everyone should read and understand these basic issues, no matter your level of participation.
Bottom line is that when you combine wireless tracking with object(s) that are on your person at all times containing your identity (iPhone, driver's license in some states), it opens up many kinds of misuse and abuse.