Is Big Brother Watching? Heard of this??

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by donnA, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. donnA

    donnA
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  2. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    It's true. While I am not a big conspiracy buff at all, I can see some privacy concerns. The idea is to track inventory for manufacturers, distributors & retailers. This is similar to how bar codes and other tracking mechanisms are used today. Apparently, once it is in consumer hands, it is not tracked. However loyalty clubs already track your purchases (e.g. Safeway Card, Albertson's Card) and you are trading privacy for discounts.

    Here's an abstract from the New York Times article about it:

    Business/Financial Desk | February 25, 2003, Tuesday
    TECHNOLOGY; A Radio Chip in Every Consumer Product

    By CLAUDIA H. DEUTSCH and BARNABY J. FEDER (NYT) 1668 words
    Late Edition - Final , Section C , Page 1 , Column 2
    ABSTRACT - Companies as diverse as Gillette, Procter & Gamble, International Paper and Canon USA are teaming up with retailers and customers to apply technology known as radio-frequency identification to tracking products from time they leave assembly line to time they leave store; companies are tagging products with computer chips laden with information about content, origin and destination; are also equipping shelves, doors and walls with sensors that can record that data when products are near; Philips Semiconductor, unit of Royal Philips Electronics, is leading maker of chips; diagram; photo (M) Here's a tip to thieves: If you are bent on stealing packages of Gillette Mach3 razor blades, go someplace other than Tesco's Newmarket Road store in Cambridge, England. There, a ''smart shelf'' continuously queries tiny radio chips embedded in the packages it holds, and senses the silence when one is removed. The system may soon be programmed to alert security when several are taken at once, Greg Sage, a Tesco spokesman, said.

    And, yes, Procter & Gamble will notice if a case of Pantene shampoo does not make it to the Wal-mart Supercenter in Broken Arrow, Okla. Its truck is equipped to monitor signals continuously from chips hidden in each case. If any case stops sending its ''Hi, I'm still here'' signal, a monitor in the ''smart truck'' will record exactly when and where.
     
  3. donnA

    donnA
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    The board I picked it up from, there was discussion about them continuing, or haveing the ability to continue to track after you have made the purchase. What are your thoughts on that?
     
  4. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    There are some personal products that I don't think anyone would want to know where they are after purchase!
     
  5. donnA

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  6. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Oh,man, it's amazing how urban legends get going.

    The article says that Walmart "will quietly begin selling tracking-chipped products to clueless shoppers...but they'd rather you didn't know about it"

    What a crock!!

    If Walmart didn't want us to know about it, why Walmart announce it in my local paper last week? The RF tags are inventory control tags. Rather than using bar codes, RF tags allow for package counting without having to manually scan each item up close.

    Also, newswithviews.com implies that the RF tags are on the product. That's not the case. The RF tags are in the packaging. RF tags are nothing new. Most video & music stores have been using RF tags on their DVD's and CD's for years, because it makes it virtually impossible to leave the store without deactivating the tag at the register (and paying for it) first.

    Bottom line: There's no "big brother" RF tag conspiracy. RF tracking of inventory owned by Walmart is not "big brother". Prior to us bying them, they are the property of Walmart, and Walmart has the right to track them in any manner they see fit. If we're going to tell Walmart how to track its property, then who's being big brother, them or us??
     
  7. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Well, I got a minor wake-up call a few days ago.
    I was changing things around and wishing I had a
    telephone jack on the other side of the living
    room. Then, I realized I had one that the cable
    company had put in for the cable TV. As I
    understood it, the cable would not work well
    without it, because this was how we would
    receive the programming lists and changes.

    Well, I wondered if I could also hook our phone
    up to it, so I plugged a phone in, heard a dial tone.
    then unplugged it to use at a later date. In the
    mean time, I got distracted and forgot to plug the
    cable TV back into the phone line, finding it still
    unplugged a few days later.

    Then the questions started. Our television has
    been fine: the programming has continued,
    there have been no interruptions in service, and
    we still receive the lists at 2 a.m. The Internet
    service has continued as well. Nothing at all has
    changed on my end, so what is the purpose of
    the phone line??? Well, the only feasible
    answer is that they were receiving something
    from us, or they would not have gone to the
    trouble and expense of putting in a new phone
    line over there.

    It is still not plugged in.
     
  8. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Abiyah, in layman's terms, the phone jack is a "backup system" that allows the cable box to receive programming in the event the bidirectional data link to the cable box is interrupted (which might happen in, for example, a power loss). There's no way for the cable box to monitor phone conversations or the like, since the boxes aren't designed that way. I'm willing to bet that, within 30 days, you'll probably experience some type of interruption in data, most likely the guide lineup.

    If you have an alarm system, it, too, will be hooked up to a phone line. In fact, it will cease to operate in the event of an emergency without that hookup.
     
  9. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Oh, I am sorry! I tried to keep my post short. I
    should have added that what I thought they were
    receiving was what programs we watch -- not
    that any individual was getting anything, but
    that it was all loaded into a computer somewhere,
    somehow. My point was this: not without my
    pemission! Also, if they wanted it, what would
    stop them from receiving it anyway from the
    cable that brings the TVv in.

    If someone was picking up on our phone
    conversations, they would be quite BORED! 8o)

    Thank you for the info. I think I will leave it
    unplugged for a while, just to see what happens.
    Although we have six or so cable jacks, only one
    has a telephone jack as well. So far, after @ 1.5
    weeks, everything has been fine, including the lists.
     

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