Tuesday, August 02, 2005

RFID: Spychips

It's not easy for me to say this, but I'm apprehensive about Katherine Albrecht's book Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID.

It's the book's description on publisher Nelson Current's website that gives me pause: "An explosive exposé on how... this seemingly innocuous commercial maneuver will inevitably turn our society into a Big Brother nightmare.", and "..., Spychips explains RFID technology and reveals the history and future of the master planners’ strategies to imbed these trackers on everything—from postage stamps to shoes to people themselves—and spy on Americans without our knowledge or consent."

"inevitably turn our society into a Big Brother nightmare... master planners’ ..."

I hope that Spychips is a testament to Albrecht's talent and experience, and not the hyperbolic caricature this description suggests. I hope that the book illuminates the actual, substantive complexities of a radio frequency culture.

I don't want Albrecht to be another advocate-gone-zealot, pimping overblown Orwell references that ultimately (and probably unintentionally) undermine thoughtful examination of RFID.

Those of us who seek transparency can not afford to subordinate language to advance our agenda.

That was Orwell's nightmare.

Sally Bacchetta - Freelance Writer