Thursday, July 10, 2003


Yesterday morning I remembered why I still love Slashdot.

And now I've finally made it through all the Auto-ID Center "confidential" RFID marketing and communications documents recently uncovered by CASPIAN. (Scroll down the CASPIAN main page for an up-to-date list of mirror links and responses to the original press release.)

My father always tells me that the "average" person doesn't have the "leisure time" necessary to read things like this, to which I have always cynically replied that it is more a problem of priority, since people seem to find plenty of time to watch television. OK. Of course I know it's not that simple, and I speak from a position where, in fact, I do have the time to read every one of these documents.

But I really wish that everyone would read these documents. Or at least the ones listed in the press release.

Among the "confidential" documents available on the web site are slide shows discussing the need to "pacify" citizens who might question the wisdom of the Center's stated goal to tag and track every item on the planet.

Um, what?

Despite the overwhelming evidence of negative consumer attitudes toward RFID technology revealed in its internal documents, the Auto-ID Center hopes that consumers will be "apathetic" and "resign themselves to the inevitability of it" instead of acting on their concerns.

Oh. And if that doesn't work?

PR firm Fleischman-Hillard ... suggests a variety of strategies to help the Auto-ID Center "drive adoption" and "neutralize opposition," including the possibility of renaming the tracking devices "green tags."

Damn. That's offensive.


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