Walmart Wants To Track Underwear With RFID Tags

Theft of underwear and jeans must be a pretty big issue for Walmart stores considering that the company wants to track each garment using RFID tags. All that stands in this plan's way is some itsy-bitsy privacy concerns.

Click on the image for a closer look.

The concern with the tags is that while they can be removed when someone takes a purchase home, they can't be simply deactivated by consumers - meaning that they can still be tracked. On top of the tags being worrisome, the systems used to read them in stores are also raising eyebrows:

[Privacy advocates]also worry that retailers will be able to scan customers who carry new types of personal ID cards as they walk through a store, without their knowledge. Several states, including Washington and New York, have begun issuing enhanced driver's licenses that contain radio- frequency tags with unique ID numbers, to make border crossings easier for frequent travelers. Some privacy advocates contend that retailers could theoretically scan people with such licenses as they make purchases, combine the info with their credit card data, and then know the person's identity the next time they stepped into the store.

The whole idea seems a bit awkward, but then again: It's not really any worse than creepy men putting GPS-tracking systems in their lovers' lingerie. [WSJ]


Comments

    I don't see how this could be a new problem as far as scanning people with RFID tags. There have been RFID scanners at all the doors for years. What do you think sets off the alarm at the front door when your electronic item didn't get deactivated? Not only that, but they know and track what you perchases anyway. When's the last time you paid cash for your groceries? It's kind of like the reward cards at other stores, where you give them your name, address, etc. and they can use that information combined with your purchase info and sell it advertising firms for a pretty penny. At least they haven't sunk that far yet. Cough. Tom Thumb, Kroger, CVS. Cough. So if you think you're slick buying your cold sore medicine and small condems at the self check-out and still using your credit or debit card in the process, you're not. They just have that much more info on you. If you're really worried about people scanning your trash to find out what Walmart underwear you wear, which is the only legitamate concern listed, take a strong magnet to the tag. Problem solved.

      Err the electronic security gates in stores dont have unique codes.. they cant be tracked in the slightest..

      As for RFID on jeans and underwear, its purely for retailers to make stock management easier and for stocktaking purposes.. For years they have been talking about retail and RFID. Registers that ring up your shopping instantly, automated stocktaking at the press of a button, automated ordering, refrigerators that write you a shopping list based on whats already inside..

      If you think Walmart gives a flying fuck where you wear your jeans after they have your money for them then you are delusional.

    "reverse shoplift" the tags.

    purchase item (use cash), remove tag at home, take tag back into store, insert tag back into stack of items.

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