A new RFID tag designed to “track objects or people in a closed environment” which is being funded by the Department of Homeland Security even has the ability to know when you visit the bathroom.
Developed by Queralt Inc., the technology is already being used in public schools and to track elderly patients in retirement homes. Queralt’s Steve Abbagnaro is working with the DHS to “develop advanced authentication and authorization systems to improve cyber security.”
A promotional video for the system shows a person being tracked down to their precise location via a Google Maps style interface.
“Under the system, employees are issued an RFID-enabled badge that a computer reads while they are at work,” reports the Middletown Press. “As they go about their day, the system collects information — when they arrive, eat lunch, or go to the restroom, for instance, or which computers they log into. The system then uses the information to establish patterns and issue an alert if something is amiss.”
When Abbagnaro was asked by the newspaper if the technology was “creepy,” he responded, “It is absolutely terrifying, but it’s being done for a good reason.”
Well that’s OK then, Americans will just have to trust a federal agency that has consistently lied about innumerable privacy issues to safeguard their rights this time around.
Abbagnaro says the technology, at least in its current format, will only be used to track government employees with their knowledge and permission.
“How long before they incorporate this technology into driver’s licenses?” asks privacy blog MassPrivateI. “Can you say Real ID? DHS’s national drivers license tracking program! When they’re installed in your driver’s license they’ll even know which vehicle your driving!”
“When money is involved corporate ‘shareholders’ will put them into every employee ID badge. Then it’s only a matter of time before it’s a law and every driver’s license and federal ID badge will have this RFID spying tech installed in them.”
Given the Department of Homeland Security’s rather chilling take on airport security – the federal agency once considered purchasing bracelets that delivered taser-style shocks to unruly travelers – one wonders whether the technology will also find its way into airline boarding passes at some point in the future.