Contributed by Joanne C. Kelleher
When SecureRF first started getting involved with putting our cryptographic technology on RFID tags there was much concern about the privacy issues related to RFID. It was a topic that we wrote about a lot, for example, this 2009 blog post “Talking About Privacy Issues” – http://www.securerf.com/RFID-Security-blog/?p=99.
But around the office we often commented about how there were much larger privacy issues surrounding the use of cell phones and the Internet, yet there wasn’t as much of a backlash as there was about RFID tags. Years later that seems to have changed. RFID tags are much more accepted then 4 years ago, even for applications such as student tracking. Recently there has been a lot of buzz around privacy related to other technologies.
The New York Times’ June 4, 2012 piece “Rethinking Privacy in an Era of Big Data” quotes Danah Boyd, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research. “Privacy, Ms. Boyd notes, is not the same as security or anonymity. It is an ability to have control over one’s definition within an environment that is fully understood. Something, arguably, no one has anymore.” http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/rethinking-privacy-in-an-era-of-big-data
This July 24, 2012 TED Blog “What data is being collected on you? Some shocking info” highlights a politician’s multiple-year quest to receive the data collected about him from his phone company. It also features other privacy articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic and additional TED Talks. Resources to protect your privacy are also suggested. http://blog.ted.com/2012/07/24/what-data-is-being-collected-on-you-some-shocking-info/
It is interesting to see that the privacy discussion has not only changed focus, but moved from more obscure blogs and publications to mainstream media.