FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, February 07, 2005

Consumers Not Embracing RFID

With radio frequency identification (RFID) tags making inroads in retail, healthcare and other areas, more US consumers are aware of them. However, just over 40% of those surveyed think that RFID tags are a good idea.

The survey by BIGresearch found that 35% of those surveyed in 2004 knew what RFID tags were (up from 28% in 2003). A gender gap was apparent in RFID awareness; nearly half the men surveyed knew about RFID, but only 25% of the women were similarly aware.

The majority of those surveyed expressed privacy concerns about RFID, publicized by groups that are urging consumers to boycott retailers who use RFID tags. The most vocal of these groups is Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (Caspian), which operates a website, Spychips.com Those concerned about RFID privacy and security will likely not be heartened by a report that the graduate students at Johns Hopkins have cracked the encryption used by Mobil's Speedpass RFID device for rapid payment at gas pumps.
Sources: eMarketer, RFIDbuzz