Xeni on PBS-TV “California Connected” tonight — RFIDs and privacy

On this week’s edition of the PBS television program “California Connected,” I join host Lisa McRee with guests Beth Givens, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, State Senator Debra Bowen, and Mark Roberti, RFID Journal to debate consumer privacy issues related to radio frequency ID tag (RFID) technology.

There’s a great online discussion salon going on concurrently, too, with Professor Shyam Sunder of the School of Management at Yale University, Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the EFF, and Dr. Daniel Engels of the MIT Auto-ID Labs.

Dubbed by one skeptical journalist as “Big Brother in small packages,” RFID chips are tiny transponders that can be attached to almost any consumer good. While companies are set to use these radio frequency identification tags to track their merchandise from assembly line to warehouse to store shelf, privacy watchdogs suggest these same RFID tags could be used to keep tabs on consumers — beyond the confines of a store or supermarket.

Link to show home page. Link to stations and airtimes for both the TV and radio editions of the show. Video will be archived online later.

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