The first article in this month’s issue was written by an insightful writer working with the San Jose Mercury News in California’s Silicon Valley. ContactlessNews ran the piece because it seemed to our staff to demonstrate the attention being paid to RFID by the general media.
In contrast to other ID technologies, RFID is receiving generally favorable coverage in the press. Look at the context in which other technologies are profiled:
- Contact chip is often cited as failing to gain consumer attention (particularly in North America)
- Magnetic stripe technology is frequently profiled for its weak fraud prevention capability
- Biometrics are typically mentioned in the context of privacy invasion and Big Brother concerns.
But RFID is typically cited in a very positive manner. Comments like those from the following article are common. RFID is “opening up huge new opportunities,” or “the most important applications haven’t even been conceived yet.” And when RFID is brought up with regards to privacy concerns, it is most often a balanced mention, rather than a blatant attack (with the recent exception, perhaps, of the postponed use of RFID by clothing manufacturer, Bennetton, that caused some privacy-advocate uproar).
As an industry, we cannot underestimate the importance of consumer perceptions. When we as transit, payment, or security issuers deploy an RFID product, it is far easier to work with receptive users than skeptical ones.
Chris Corum, Editor