[LINK] Airport to tag passengers

Geoffrey Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Fri Oct 13 16:28:54 AEST 2006

Glen Turner wrote:
> Howard Lowndes wrote:
>> Colin Brooks, Optag co-ordinator, said the trial would determine if 
>> the tags would be feasible in the light of obvious problems, such as 
>> the possibility that people might ditch their tags to avoid 
>> detection, or swap them with another person.
>> One solution might be to require people to use their tags to get 
>> through gates placed throughout the airport, he said. Perhaps a 
>> little like a shepherd might gate off his pasture and check the tags 
>> on his sheep as they passed into this field.
> Quite simply, they are solving the wrong problem.
> The issue is tracking people and their possessions through
> the airport, and this suggestion does neither.
> The one obvious use -- requiring staff to wear the tags
> and raising an alarm if a tagless person enters somewhere
> they shouldn't be -- isn't really considered.
> Oddly enough, developments aimed at solving the right problem --
> tracking people directly from video, identifying odd behaviours,
> and identifying suspiciously placed luggage -- seems to be
> progressing well.  For example, Heathrow runs its cameras into
> a luggage system, a suspicious behaviour system (such as entering
> the airport through a public door but entering a secure area),
> and a "show me person X now" system.
> That should raise exactly the same privacy concerns as the proposed
> RFID tag system.  But really, there is no privacy in airports
> these days.  I doubt there has been since the Red Army Faction.
> So the concern is, how effective are these systems.  And any
> tagging system for the public in airports obviously just isn't
> good enough.
I also agree, I don't know what the RFID tag/Passenger tracking is 
really going to achieve. You are better of ensuring passengers don't 
have access to restricted areas. Monitor access by authorised people, 
not monitor all people.

Geoffrey Ramadan

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