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identification (RFID) technology. Like any link between business and consumers, it is important to consider the security and privacy of the consumer. This essay will discuss the benefits of RFID for logistics, elements of the supply chain and will also adhere to topics related to the consumer.

In the future we could be tracked because of what we wear, eat or what we carry. This minuscule

microchip technology known as RFID works by sending a unique radio frequency, which is recognised by a receiver. Already the technology is so advanced that some chips don't rely on batteries and are less than half the size of a grain of sand. Soon the common bar code will be as useless as a VHS videotape (McCullagh, 2003). It is seen that RFID tags have major advantages over optical bar codes regarding usability and performance and could produce major productivity gains. Because of the scale of the market, the development of the technology will be extensively tested (Rivest, 2003).

In early 2003, Wal-Mart began installing 'smart shelves' equipped with RFID reading technology to monitor stock movement in their stores. One of the first major brands to adopt RFID was Gillette, who in 2003 purchased 500 million RFID tags from Alien Technology. It is not certain exactly how much each of these 500 million tags cost but it is estimated to be around 25 cents each. As quantities increase, the price per tag is set to fall with 1 billion tags being set to sell for 10 cents each. Lots of 10 billion are estimated to sell for the small price of 5 cents each (McCullagh, 2003).

It is quite possible that in the future everything you buy from a chocolate bar to a t-shirt could be equipped with RFID. A German company, KSW-Microtec, recently designed microchip technology that is wash resistant, enabling microchips to be sewn into clothing. And according to EE Times (as cited in McCullagh, 2003), the European central bank is considering embedding RFID tags into banknotes by 2007.

Although this new technology provides endless opportunities in invoice tracking and point of sale transactions, it also has awakened many concerns about the privacy and security of those controlling and using the technology.

RFID has the potential to be huge, possibly involving trillions of tags. With such a huge market there is the risk of abuse. With the deployment of the low



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