Industry News

‘Tag, you’re it’ devices could change real estate

But radio frequency ID technology raises privacy concerns

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Imagine home buyers driving through their favorite neighborhood, checking out for-sale signs. As they approach one sign with curiosity, they use a device with an RFID chip that beams a bar code-like ID on the for-sale sign. Instantly, the buyers can see a full display of the listing on a PDA along with other important neighborhood information such as schools and recent home sales. Unfortunately, the hottest new technology is becoming too hot for some companies to touch because of privacy concerns, which might delay applications like the real estate example from happening anytime soon. RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification, was to be the ultimate technology for tracking consumer behavior, and consumers generally for that matter. RFID tags are microchips, which are as small as a dust mite, that detect radio frequencies. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries. Retailers are installing "smart she...