Chip on your shoulder | thebereancall.org

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TBC Staff

Wired News 3-12-2003-In a move wireless industry analysts say will infringe on customers' privacy, clothing designer Benetton plans to weave radio frequency ID chips into its garments to track its clothes worldwide.

Analysts warn that the RFID chips could pose significant risks to customers' privacy because they would allow anyone with an RFID receiver to locate customers wearing Benetton clothes, including companies that want to sell them their products.

Among other businesses, luxury clothing retailer Prada already embeds RFID inventory tags into its clothing. Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart and British retailer Tesco are other companies mulling over using smart tags for restocking, anti-theft and anti-counterfeit purposes.

Royal Philips Electronics is shipping 15 million RFID chips, which are the size of a grain of sand, to Benetton this year.

Phillips claims the effort is "the world's largest and most comprehensive item-level tagging implementation of RFID technology in the fashion industry to date."