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Taiwanese Researchers Plug RFIDs As Disaster Recovery Aids 108

Velcroman1 writes "Scientists tag animals to monitor their behavior and keep track of endangered species. Now some are asking whether all of mankind should be tagged too. Looking for a loved one? Just Google his microchip. Taiwanese researchers postulate that the tags could help save lives in the aftermath of a major earthquake. And IBM advocated chips for humans in a speech earlier this week. The ACLU disagrees. 'Many people find the idea creepy,' spokesman Jay Stanley told"
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Taiwanese Researchers Plug RFIDs As Disaster Recovery Aids

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  • Creepy? Yes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:10PM (#32216616)
    Sure it would be great to find your lost loved one in the event of some natural disaster. And it would be nice to be able to track and find your kids when they're late for dinner or in the event of some foul play. But this is way to apt for abuse. If you think stalkers can get too much information on someone now you just wait until they can track you 24/7 via your new best friend RFID!
  • Cobblers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xaemyl ( 88001 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:14PM (#32216644)

    What a smokescreen. "Here, people! Let us keep tabs on you, in case of an emergency ... for your own good."

  • Re:Dear ACLU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WarJolt ( 990309 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:14PM (#32216652)

    creepy is just a way of saying your gut tells you somethings wrong. My gut keeps me out of a lot of bad situations. It's a good enough reason for me. My gut tells me I don't want to be implanted with something that can track me like an animal.

  • Re:Dear ACLU (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laughingcoyote ( 762272 ) <barghesthowl&excite,com> on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:27PM (#32216736) Journal

    I think there are much better reasons to reject this concept than vague superstitions. Aren't privacy, bodily integrity, and freedom from surveillance good enough reasons?

    I can always carry a GPS locator (that will only be turned on if I want to) if I'm going to the backcountry. Sure, I like having it in the event of emergency. But it only goes on if I flip the switch, and I would only do that if there were an emergency.

  • Cell phones (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brass1 ( 30288 ) <SlrwKQpLrq1FM@what . n et> on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:27PM (#32216738) Homepage
    Don't cell phones already provide a better solution to this "problem" while solving most of the privacy issues?
  • Re:Cell phones (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zubiaur ( 1207636 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:42PM (#32216820)
    I dont think you will be relying on a cell tower rather than on some portable gsm spectrum analyzer. and this would be a worse case scenario.
  • by jacks smirking reven ( 909048 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @12:08AM (#32216956)
    Having chips in people can serve a number of functions and conveniences in a somewhat modern age as we seem to be in. It would be handy and helpful in many ways besides the ones the researchers describe, but because of our governments and human nature itself, it's not worth the risk. With something like that it's not a matter of if it's abused, but simply how they'll abuse it.
  • by Raptoer ( 984438 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @12:47AM (#32217234)

    RFID and earthquakes

    One major thing everyone overlooks is the range of RFID. To be small enough to comfortably fit in a human only a passive unit with a small antenna can be used. This limits the range since the power has to be pushed to the RFID tag. You're going to get a range of maybe a meter.

    Additionally no materials that respond to a magnetic field can be used, as it would tear out the tag during an MRI. From a security standpoint, want to become someone else? take their chip. After all, it's a perfect ID system, so if it says you're joe, there's no way you could be bob with joe's chip. (This is why there are photos on id, although it's much more difficult to steal a chip than a card)

    I've also never figured out how they can listen to multiple tags at once, the same type of tag is going to be on the same frequency, so don't their transmissions overlap?

    Finally there is no time when an earthquake is supposed to happen, except for aftershocks (in which case if the original earthquake is strong enough to warrant getting your tag, it's probably too late anyways)

  • by Sabriel ( 134364 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:03AM (#32217312)

    or perhaps more importantly, concrete and real historical examples of why compulsory identification is bad or wrong.

    Concrete and real historical examples of civilizations with panopticon-level surveillance and the ability to remotely help or hinder significant populations in real-time via computer command are not yet available. However, I expect such examples within my lifetime. All of the technologies are there. It's just a matter of combining them to taste as suits your ideology and those of your allies and enemies .

    Emphasis intended. That is the "beef". The problem is not that these technologies will combine, the problem is (a) acknowledging that many want it and at least one will get it, (b) ensuring that combination occurs within a regulatory framework that resists tyranny. And history is littered with real and concrete examples of where humanity has done poorly in that regard.

  • Re:Cell phones (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:36AM (#32217472)

    Especially if people are smart and turn on their phone, say, 10 mins/day to allow for tracking. The battery would last a long time.

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Saturday May 15, 2010 @07:04PM (#32222776) Homepage Journal

    This cannot be repeated too often:

    "You should not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered."
              -- Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the U.S.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.