[LINK] RFID in Govt, and in People

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Oct 3 11:17:56 AEST 2006

I have thought for a while that Libraries would be a great use. for  
RFID  A reader at the door would mean you would just have to walk out  
with the books and the library could automatically check them out to  
you!  Also staff could locate a miscatalogued book much more easily  
than now.

On the other hand, for privacy reasons maybe it wouldn't be such a  
good idea!!!  I clandestine reader at the door could tell someone  
what you were reading - but then a government organisation wanting  
that info could look up the database anyway and I seem to remember a  
bill that allows ASIO to hack into databases and read and change data  

On 2006 Oct 03, at 11:13 AM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:

> Roger
> Most RFID inquiries our industry get (including us) are crap.
> Most people have no real understanding of RFID and their  
> applications, and even less understanding of the limitations,  
> including Government Departments.
> We generally find that solutions to customer issues can be found in  
> other technology means, including barcoding or process changes.
> I can quote you one example where a Government department wanted to  
> RFID tag documents, thinking that they could wave a magic wand and  
> locate them. What they really needed was a process change, as their  
> work practices were extremely sloppy with no accountability.
> However, there is a growing interest and applications in "non- 
> human" asset management as indicated in the article.
> There is a strong trend towards active RFID tags for "location  
> based tracking" of assets. Hospitals and Mining being an excellent  
> example of this type of applications. The assets are expensive (eg.  
> Medical devices) which are very mobile and need to be located  
> efficiently, therefore gaining better utilisation and lowering  
> capital costs, while improving services.
> In Government departments I suspect there is an interest in asset  
> tracking of notebooks.
> Regards
> Geoffrey Ramadan, B.E.(Elec)
> Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Australia (www.adca.com.au)
> and
> Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)
> Roger Clarke wrote:
>> 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:
>> http://www.bah.com.au/Whats_New/press_releases.htm
>> [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 today.
>> Fast track for radio tags
>> Ben Woodhead
>> Australian IT Section
>> OCTOBER 03, 2006
>> http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,20500547%5E15302%5E 
>> %5Enbv%5E,00.html 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]

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
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