News: "Big Brother" is coming to Wal-Mart...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by I Am Blessed 24, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    By Mary Starrett
    June 11, 2003
    NewsWithViews.com

    Starting this week, the nation's largest discount retailer will quietly begin selling tracking-chipped products to clueless shoppers. The first volley in their war against our privacy is set to start at their Brockton, Massachusetts store.

    Wal-Mart will put Radio Frequency I.D. sensors on shelves stocked with RFID-tagged Gillette products, but they'd rather you didn't know about it, because, hey, you might not like it, and then you might make noise and then they'd have a big PR mess on their hands.

    You might even stop buying Gillette products or, say, refuse to shop at Wal-Mart.

    These chips, researched at M.I.T.'s Auto-ID Center are about the size of a grain of sand. Chipsters say the technology will only be used to help retailers keep track of inventory - like bar codes. But privacy-loving consumers question the very concept of a device that sends out radio waves to "readers" that not only identify the article, but where and with whom it's going.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

    [​IMG]
    Sue

    [ June 26, 2003, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  2. Daisy

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    This is interesting, new technology. It is a bit Big Brotherish - for instance, banks are looking into having a chip in your bankcard which would be automatically read as you entered the bank and if you have a ton of money there, you'd be whisked off the line and treated nicely even at branches where the bankers didn't know you.

    Airlines are also looking into RFID for tracking baggage and matching baggage to passengers. That way, if the passenger got rerouted, so would the baggage because the information associated with the tag is easily updated.

    If you're interested in who is developing or using this technology, check this out:
    RFID Industry Journal FAQ page

    From Urban Legends:
     
  3. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    How far are we from the implanted chip in the forehead or on the hand with '666' on it???
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    My neighbor works for Wal-Mart in the pharmacy department. Her 16 year old daughter just found out she's pregnant.

    Wal-Mart's employee insurance will pay to abort the baby but won't pay for the pre-natal care or delivery of this minor's baby.

    It's more than Big Brother....

    Diane
     
  5. j_barner2000

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    abortion costs less money.
     
  6. wizofoz

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    I think people are making too big a deal about this.
    From what I understand, the chip is on the packaging, not in the product. So, if you're worried about Big Brother following you home, just take the product out of the packaging when you leave the store and before you get in your car.
     
  7. LadyEagle

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    well, wiz, that's all fine & dandy....except....

    What else aren't we being told? :(
     
  8. Johnv

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    This is the second thread about this subject to start on this board. The fact that it has appeared again indicates that we love rumor and gossip.

    This story about Walmart and RFID tags has gotten blown way out of proportion, and portions of it are quite misleading. The RFID tags are inventory control tags that are placed on the pagkaging (not the product). They replace the more traditional bar codes that are currently on packaging. Rather than manually scan every item on shelves one by one, the RFID tags allow the products to be scanned from a distance of a few feet, no longer requiring a warehouse worker to climb over boxes and move bulky containers.

    Additionally, the story implies that Walmart is "quietly" insituting RFID tags. Not so at all. Walmart issued a major press release, and was very excited about using this new affordable technology.

    RFID tags have been used for several years in the CD/DVD industry. As anyone who has ever bought a CD knows, the tags are deactivated when the items are purchased. If they weren't, an alarm would sound when we try to leave the store with them. The only reason RFID tags have not been used more until now is because the cost has been somewhat proho

    RFID tags have also been used in employee entry badges. As anyone who has them knows, unless your badge is in close proximity to the detector, the door ain't gonna open for you.

    Since WalMart's RFID tags are on the packaging, once the product is opened, the tag is discarded. But the bottom line is, prior to us purchasing the product, the product belongs to Walmart. Walmart has every right to manage its product in whatever manner it chooses. In this case, the cost savings ultimately benefits us, the consumer. If we begin telling Walmart that it can't do, then who's the real big brother?

    If we're concerned that our purchasing habits are being tracked, what we should do is stop using those club cards at grocery stores. But somehow, when it means we save money, all of a sudden, it isn't such a big deal. Since Walmart's new RFID inventory system will end up in lower product prices, we should be just as happy about this as we are about club card savings.
     
  9. Johnv

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    Diane, someone ain't sayin' something. I asked an acquaitence who works for Walmart. Her insurance covered childbirth expenses when she gave birth to her son. She chose Walmart's insurance because her doctor didn't accept her husband's insurance, and she didn't want to change doctors. I don't recall what insurance plan it is, however.
     
  10. wizofoz

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    That Wal Mart is part of a vast international conspiracy to flood the United States with cheap Chinese junk, thus rendering its patrons powerless to buy items that they actually need?

    Maybe not.
     
  11. I Am Blessed 24

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    Not true John. The chips cost .60 each. Someone is going to pay for them...guess who??? And I've never had a 'club card' beep as I went out the door. :confused:

    IMHO, It's an ominous sign of things to come....
     
  12. Johnv

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    No disrespect intended, but the fact is that the article you posted is misleading, as per the reasons I posted previously.

    The cost of manually scanning a bar code is considerably more than RFID tags. We're already paying for warehouse personnel to manually scan these items, at a higher cost. I used to have a warehouse job in college and it was estimated that inventory control added about a buck to the cost of each item. I don't know what it would be today.

    There's no need for club cards to beep. They already have your product information.

    Please tell me how RFID tagged products are trackable once you leave a store.
     
  13. stubbornkelly

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    jbarner's correct on that - abortion is cheaper. Insurance companies are, after all, in it for the money.

    That said, I've never heard of an insurance that won't pay for pre-natal and delivery, at least a portion (I know my insurance wouldn't cover all of it, maybe 60% or so). Most insurance providers don't cover elective abortions (mine does not under any program, and neither have my last three -- all big name companies), so although I don't want to discount your friends' story, it does seem a little off to me.
     
  14. I Am Blessed 24

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    John: This is the part of the article that I, and most other consumers, are concerned about. It is part of the original article.
     
  15. Johnv

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    The claims made in that part of the article are misleading:

    Retailers are SUPPOSED to alert their customers to the tracking chips and offer to "kill" the tags at the checkout counter.

    I'm not sure where anyone got the idea that retailers are SUPPOSED to alert consumers of the tag use. I've never been told that the CD's I've been buying have them, yet I know they do, via common sense. They've been using them for 10 years.

    The tags don't "emit" anything in the first place. The tags reflect rf waves when exposed to specific frequencies, just as a bar code reflects a certain pattern when exposed to laser light.

    If the tags are supposedly turned off at purchase, how can they be read after the item's brought back to the store?

    The "killing" of the rf tag they're referring to is the same as what currently happens with my cd's the tag is scanned to turn off the ability to reflect an rf signal, or "killed". But if I bring the CD back, they can turn that feature back on by scanning the item once again.

    Just one of the myriad lies you'll be told about this technology.
    This is by no means new technology. The lies about the technology are being told by the author of this article, not by Walmart.
     
  16. dianetavegia

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    Kelly asked:
    Kelly, the pregnant person is the employees 16 year old daughter and the insurance doesn't cover prenatal and delivery for minor children.

    The state of Georgia will fully cover her tho through Medicare. Any woman, of any age, who is pregnant, who recently gave birth or had an abortion can get Medicaid in Georgia.

    Diane
     
  17. Johnv

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    the pregnant person is the employees 16 year old daughter and the insurance doesn't cover prenatal and delivery for minor children.

    That make a bit more sense.
     
  18. FearNot

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    Wow, Walmart can't catch a break. They bring affordable prices close to home. The people who work there are almost always helpful and respectful.

    Just because Walmart offers insurance to their employees doesn't mean they are the insurance company. Usually the only choices the main company has is how much they are going to pay toward their employees insurance. They don't pick and choose what the insurance company will pay out.

    As far as the razor tags go. Walmart is not embedding the detector in your skin. It is on the package. If you do not like it, do not buy it. Or go to Bankruptmart. Numerous companies use tags like this, clothing companies, grocery stores, almost anywhere shoplifting is done. Why do you think the public library has those little columns to walk through when you leave? If you do not check the book out, and have it demagnified, the alarm goes off.

    Walmart has eliminated many cds with abusive language/messages, and now they are stopping the sale of several magazines. They did this out of moral responcibility. They turned away from greed and profit to do the right thing. I wish some people would stop looking for reasons to hate them.

    Like I said... If you don't like walmart, do not shop there! I do not agree with some of Disney's philosphies, so I do not go. If i want to ride a ride, I will go somewhere else. Take your dollars somewhere else. [​IMG]
     
  19. LadyEagle

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    More...

    Link
     
  20. dianetavegia

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    I think that was just overlooked in your first read. I always included that info....

    [​IMG] Diane

    ps. When our daughter was pregnant at 18 and delivered at 19, our insurance paid in full for the prenatal and delivery plus follow up care for several months. By then we had legally adopted Nick as our own.
     

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