May 24th, 2005


Big bro

This is the kind of mind-numbing, nails-on-chalkboard, "Falling Down" inspiring annoyance that will inevitably come with Read ID.

So yeah... let me get this straight... I HAVE to, by law, carry an ID that will probably have an RFID chip in it, just like the thing in the article above. This chip will have an ID that is unique to me, and it can be read wirelessly from 100 feet away. Retailers and marketers can now start building a database of what stuff I buy and when, AND they'll know if I'm near one of their robo-goons. Awesome. Imagine a future where when I walk down the ice cream aisle at the store, a booming voice comes over the speakers saying, "That's your fourth pint of Phish Food this week, Steve. We're alerting your medical insurance provider." Or how about when I'm negotiating the price of my next car: "We know you can afford this, Mr. Calderon. We pulled your last couple of years of spending data when you walked in the door." How about when I walk in to the drug store and the booming voice asks me if that rash medication I bought the other day is helping. Sweet!

The only useful application I can see in this is bars. If I can have a bartender pouring me a Jack and Coke before I even get through the door, well... I think that'd be ok.