Beach Goers Willingly Injected with RFID Tags

In it’s latest issue, Wired magazine has included a list of the “10 Best Uses for RFID Tags” and while some of the uses posed are interesting, I’m disturbed by one in particular.

(For those unfamiliar, RFID stands for radio frequency identification and refers to the use of a very small chip, called a tag, which contains a code. When passed by a reader, the code can be used to pull information from a database. Some consider it to be the next bar code. It is currently used for things like EZ Pass to zoom through tollbooths in the northeast U.S.)

Number 6 on the Wired list reads:

At Barcelona’s Baja Beach Club, VIPs are injected with RFIDs linked to debit accounts, making wallets passé. Handy when all you’re wearing is a thong.

No, no, no. I have worked with standards surrounding RFID use in the supply chain. I have been involved with public policy. Our stance was always tag products, not people.

Yet here is a beach club offering RFID tag injections to make it easier to pay for a drink or access a VIP area without ID. What ever happened to giving your name to access a tab or for someone to verify on a VIP list?

To me this is over the top and simply not enough of a step up in convenience. Obviously there are others who disagree because people are willingly accepting the chip. (Note: It is the consumer’s responsibility to have the tag removed later if they so choose.)

If you’re interested in reading more, these articles will tell you how the Baja Beach Club uses RFID and walk you through one patron’s experience with the chip.

As for me, I still don’t see a need for tagging people, nor do I mind carrying some form of payment and ID.


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