Privacy, Convenience v. Any Sense

The smallest RDF chip of this minute is a mere spot of water to the naked eye. "They are thin enough to be embedded in a sheet of paper, Hitachi spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi" said of the latest Radio Frequency Identification.

And now, for today's segment of "When smart people say stupid things":

However, some have raised concerns that the technology poses a threat to privacy, and that it could be used in covert monitoring schemes.

And the fact that they are becoming ever more invisible could fuel this apprehension.

However, said Mr Takeuchi: "We are not imagining such uses."
Really, seriously? Hitachi can't even conceive of such an eventuality? Well, once the technology is there such monitoring will of course happen, despite how unimaginable it may appear to its brilliant, but disingenuous creators. And technology with dangerous applications really isn't so bad. Just look how well that atom bomb research went. Well, so, that was a political decision--- oh wait, so would the application of intelligence surveillance.

Really, in a time when the President will defend unconstitutional domestic spying and folksingers with peacenik lyrics are placed on no-fly lists, it must be obvious that this is inevitable. The real question, as always when a powerful technology (like a wheel) graces our Neanderthal species is: how can we protect ourselves from our own invention while still moving forward (bike, but not get run-over)?

It's worth it, whatever it is. --that's humanity's general default reaction to well-packaged, efficiency-creating technology, isn't it? While the privacy advocates will debate in under-monetized political rags, well-funded start-ups will christen new offices and mint new business cards to populate society with these babies. After all, for an upright citizen, there's nothing to fear, right? That must be the logic when citizen-consumers purchase gadgets like the FlyClear.
Clear. Clear. The Fast Pass For Airport Security Get through airport security faster and with less hassle. Enjoy a more consistent and stress-free airport experience. Allow our concierge to help you with your carry-on luggage. Join the thousands of members who Fly Clear®.
Hmm, interesting. I wonder how difficult those would be to hack into. Not that I'm knowledgable enough (much less sufficiently motivated enough) to do such a thing, but ahh, there are so many who are--even if just for the fun of the challenge. (Right, Kevin; how can you resist in your reform when technology is always advancing new tempting projects, I wonder?)

I'm friends with a lot of (anti-government) privacy advocates who would rather go naked in the woods than preserve a social security card from a tea-light (okay, not a lot, but you understand my meaning--- libertarians). For all their radical animal-skinned anarchic flirtations, they really do have the right idea. But in terms of technological development, one just can't say no. (No one will listen, and there is no 'one' to listen to.) To say 'no' after all, would be a consumer decision. But that has nothing to do with military technology, which can't help but metastasize on its hyperbolic federal funding.

So, let's review: effectively invisible RDFs emerge. The populace embraces them, one year short of the industrial military complex. It is abused, but undiscovered for months or years or decades (don't hold your breath). Meanwhile, intellectual protestations print, unabated by their own ineffectuality. Should consumers be terrorized by their own toys gone awry, perhaps some protective solutions will develop only reactively (and therefore belated). In short, the future is bright. Put on your glasses, they may help in shielding your neighborhood stalker from tracking the RDF that Wal-Mart left in your underwear band, anyway.

Should my midnight musings not perturb you, this story (with accompanying images) of skin-deep airport security x-rays at least will. No, it has nothing to do with RDF, but it is unsettling isn't it? (Just wait till those go mobile.) No, that didn't frighten you? Well then, would you mind spinning around? thanks.