Monday, August 28, 2006

RFID: Spychips Update

Yes, yes, I realize that 8/24 has come and gone. The review is taking me longer than planned, but Spychips is the first book of it's kind, and I don't want to short-change the review to meet my deadline. It's too important. Thank you for bearing with me. My new target date is 8/31. (Yes, 2006!)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

RFID: Be Wary of Roberti's Opposition

In his 8/11/06 opinion piece Be Wary of Religious Opposition to RFID, RFID Journal editor Mark Roberti unsuccessfully attempts to marginalize consumer privacy concerns by pigeonhole-ing Katherine Albrecht as a religious zealot whose opposition to RFID is more about saving souls than saving privacy rights.

Although he acknowledges the duality of Albrecht's motivation, "My guess is she [Albrecht] would say she cares about both—preventing the end of the world and preventing the invasion of privacy." Roberti flatly ignores the privacy issue and says instead that "her [Albrecht's] views raise the question of whether she is hyping privacy concerns to achieve her religious goals." (Unlike you, Mr. Roberti, who downplay privacy concerns to achieve your commercial goals.)

In spite of his pretense, Roberti is well aware of the legitimacy of consumer privacy concerns. He is well aware that Albrecht has emerged as a leading consumer advocate because of her reasoned, substantiated protest against the unauthorized invasion of technology into private lives, not because of her religious views. The alignment of her politics and her religion are no more relevant than mine or Roberti's.

Roberti continues: "My point here, though, is that while individuals have the right to reject a new technology and even campaign against it, societies should be wary about banning technologies for religious reasons."

For once, I agree with him. RFID should not be banned or curtailed for religious reasons. There are plenty of other reasons why RFID should be banned or curtailed.

And plenty of reasons why it should be employed.

Proponents and opponents of RFID will make progress only through mature dialogue, not by making caricatures of each other.

Roberti's latest attempted smear is irresponsible and childish; even desperate. Perhaps he fears that The End truly is near.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

RFID: Spy Chips Review Coming Soon

A series of professional and personal developments has taken most of my time since early summer. I'm happy to report that things are settling down and I'm beginning the work of bringing this blog back up to speed.

On Thursday 8/24/06 I will post my review of Albrecht & McIntyre's book Spychips. I'm grateful to my friend and fellow RFID reporter James Mata ( and for his gentle persistence on this issue.

I'll talk to you soon!