AIM, the global trade association for automatic identification, has responded to the November 2 article I wrote about RFID Rights and the rush at Wal-Mart.
AIM’s November 23 editorial, “Consumer Bill of Rights,“ makes three points:
1. Item-level tagging is years off. (This is true in general, but as I made clear in the Wal-Mart article and in other blog entries, item-level tagging for some items has already started.)
2. Many of the privacy-protecting practices I suggest in the article are already present in the “best practices” put forth by the Internet Association of Privacy Professionals. (True, but companies like Wal-Mart are not following some of these practices. In many cases, they are not following the most important ones.)
3. Things are just starting out; give us a chance.
The editorial concludes:
It is my belief that many of the mistakes made by retailers were the result of enthusiasm over the possible uses of the technology coupled with ignorance over potential consumer reaction. In other words, they were more likely “sins of omission” rather than “sins of commission.” That is, these companies simply didn’t anticipate negative consumer reaction to what seemed like a good idea. Now that these companies have had their consciousness raised about these issues, I believe we will see much better notification, publication of policies, and data security measures put into place that will address the majority of consumer concerns.