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Breast Implants and Grave Robbers

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 11:17am
Meaghan Ziemba, Editor

RFID technology is being implemented everywhere, but should there be guidelines to determine what is appropriate and what is just downright ridiculous?

From tracking devices to medical innovations, RFID is gaining popularity among those craving convenience and efficiency. No more struggling to find keys in the couch cushion; no more frantic searches for loose change to pay for tolls; and no more hiding in the bushes or hiring a private investigator to track your devious children. With RFID, information can be tracked, stored, recorded, and transferred with a simple scan.

But should there be a set of guidelines to determine what tracking is appropriate and what isn’t? What about privacy? How can consumers be reassured that having RFID tech implemented into their lives won’t lead to unnecessary snooping by certain governmental agencies or businesses. We all have every right to be skeptical

Recently, I reported on how RFID is being implemented into breast implants to provide patients with immediate medical information, and into gravestones to prevent theft and vandalism.  

While I appreciate the arguments behind the benefits of such devices, I am starting to wonder if they are just a cover up for the true intentions behind technology, and if some consumers are going a bit far to jump on the RFID bandwagon.

RFID devices are great for connecting all of your personal belongings and controlling them through a mobile device. Some people have gone as far as having them implanted into their hands to open their houses, turn on their cars, and access their computer with a simple wave of their palm.  

Parents even have an opportunity to find their children if they go missing (intentionally or maliciously), which in the long run could save more lives and catch more child predators.

RFID is also great for tracking medical device users’ health conditions and preventing major medical risks, such as high blood pressure and heart attacks. The technology can keep track of patient records, decreasing unnecessary doctor appointments.

However, placing an ID tag on everything opens the door for anyone who gets that information to have a hay day with your privacy. The hacker’s playground just got bigger, law enforcement’s leash a little tighter, and the eyes of government agencies a bit wider. What guarantee do consumers have that their rights won’t be violated? What laws will be put in place to reassure us that personal information won’t fall into the wrong hands? 

Recent privacy violations have only made more skeptical.

Would you embed RFID tags into your hands? Email meaghan.ziemba@advantagemedia.com.

This article originally appeared in the November/December print issue. Click here to view the full issue.

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