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Wal-Mart 'awareness-raising' protest

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Anti-RFID protestors will on Saturday descend on a Dallas Wal-Mart to protest against the company's use of RFID chips and alleged corporate plans to use the technology to secretly track consumers.

Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN) reckons that, contrary to business claims that RFID is simply a way of improving stock control and warehousing procedures, "companies like Procter & Gamble, BellSouth, NCR, Phillips, Intel, Accenture, Texas Instruments, and IBM have blueprinted ways to track consumers and their purchases through 'spychips' in everyday objects slated for the shelves of retailers like Wal-Mart".

Good Lord. That, at least, is according to CASPIAN founder and director Katherine Albrecht, whose snappily-titled book, Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID, issues dire warnings over potential abuses of RFID.

Albrecht explains: "This technology poses serious risks to privacy and civil liberties. We have evidence that major corporations have developed ways to register products to individuals and secretly track them after purchase. Businesses have dismissed consumer concerns by characterizing RFID as an 'improved bar code,' but RFID is far more dangerous.

"These RFID spychips can be read silently from a distance, right through your clothes, wallet, backpack or purse by anyone with the right reader device. Already these companies have developed ways to use RFID tags embedded in credit cards and sewn into clothing to identify and track people."

Yes, the black helicopters are airborne, make no mistake. CASPIAN has targeted Wal-Mart because "it is selling RFID-tagged items in violation of a call for a moratorium by CASPIAN and over 40 other leading privacy and civil liberties organizations".

Accordingly, protestors will gather for the "awareness-raising" Dallas event at which Katherine Albrecht and co-author Liz McIntyre will be available for press interviews and susbsequent abduction by industry spooks fully kitted out in mirrored sunglasses and RFID cranial implants. We do not expect to be hearing from them again. ®

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