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Facebook flirts with RFID

Tracking developers in meat space

Developers attending today's Facebook conference, f8, are being issued with RFID badges integrated with their Facebook profiles for clocking into site locations.

The details come from the All Facebook, which reports that Facebook is being atypically opaque about the data gathered from the radio frequency identification tags. But given the experimental nature of the service that's unsurprising - the point of the conference is to inspire people to create applications, not define their limits.

The tags are short-range, so delegates have to make an active effort to have the tag scanned, but doing so will automatically sign them up to a related Facebook group and record their presence for plotting on a wall-screen in the main hall.

It's not the first time that a conference has had RFID-enabled badges - it’s de rigeur these days - but connecting the identity to a Facebook profile opens up all sorts of opportunities for linking the online network with the real world, and for Facebook to gather yet more information about its users. ®

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