[LINK] RFID in Govt, and in People

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Oct 3 10:09:40 AEST 2006

SMH/Age Next Section
3 October 2006
Not so smart

Almost a third of Australian government agencies have set aside money 
for RFID-related projects, despite knowing little about the 
technology, a new survey has found.

RFID is the short-range wireless technology used in 'contactless' 
smartcards and e-passports.

Consultants Booz Allen Hamilton interviewed people in 28 
Canberra-based government departments.  Fewer than 10% had a good 
understanding of RFID standards, although money had been allocated 
for RFID projects.  Three-quarters of respondents plan to investigate 
or use RFID within the next three years.

[The local Booz site, which uses the suitably sceptical domain-name 
'bah', doesn't seem to provide any information on the matter:

[If anyone has any knowledge about what BAH thinks the 21 departments 
think they plan on doing with RFID, a posting to the list, or an 
off-list note to me, would be appreciated.  There are a few potential 
applications, e.g. in Defence Materiel;  but most agencies don't 
actually do the kinds of physical things any more that RFID is 
potentially useful for]


In addition, the part of the Oz IT Section that operates purely as a 
relay for Media Releases (IT Business) has a breathless piece on RFID 

Fast track for radio tags
Ben Woodhead
Australian IT Section
OCTOBER 03, 2006
AUSTRALIAN businesses are attaching radio frequency identification 
tags to sheep, trains, heavy mining equipment and nurses as they take 
advantage of the technology's ability to track assets and people.

[The report is completely lacking in scepticism.  That the reporter 
is prepared to have his name on it is a testament to how little 
self-respect many journos have these days.  Although I'd better allow 
for the possibility that 'Woodhead' is a pseudonym, intended to 
convey that the reporter thinks the same about this kind of rubbish 
as the rest of us do.

[Especially noticeable is the equivalent treatment of people and 
things.  There's no distinction at all drawn between tracking and 
controlling gamblers, nurses and prisoners and doing the same thing 
to sheep, cattle, and mining and hospital equipment]

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

More information about the Link mailing list