It is no longer a secret that the NSA is stashing every possible piece of electronic information it can get on all of us.
Its latest gimmick is to invade our electronic communications and “lift” our entire address books. The whole thing. You don’t even have to be writing to your friends – those hackers can get in your system and get whatever they want.
Okay next step – retailers and corporations are ALSO lifting your information and forming profiles. You probably already know about RFID chips that beam back to retailers what you have bought. Now, more electronic beams are on the way hooked to your shopping cart, and eventually the store shelves..
COAST TO COAST AM reported last night, “First hour guest, privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht reported on a supermarket’s plan to track shoppers with “smart shelves” that are integrated with Microsoft Kinect technology which can detect their age, gender, and physical traits. Based on the shopper’s specific demographic, the store might beam out an ad or message tailored to that person, she explained. The end game for this, she believes, is that stores want to charge different prices for different people, and customers will have to aim their cell phone at a product to get their specific price. She lamented that some stores are on their way to becoming diabolical “retail zoos” where customers are the exhibits.”
FASTCOMPANY explains further “Supermarket giant Mondelez International, whose portfolio includes iconic brands like Chips Ahoy, Ritz, and Nabisco, is now testing shelves with integrated Microsoft Kinect sensors that determine the age and gender of passing shoppers. Mondelez says they won’t record individual data on passing supermarket shoppers, but will use the aggregate information to help tailor marketing campaigns. Mark Dajani, Mondelez’s chief information officer, told the Wall Street Journal’s Clint Boulton the experimental shelves were part of a larger push by the global snack manufacturer to integrate sensor tech of the sort found in your smartphone into product research and marketing. Dajani said that other new technologies, such as embedded weight sensors that detect when customers pick up products, could help create precision marketing tools for the supermarket aisle to make sure consumers put chocolate chip cookies in their carts.”
So, what difference does it make that the Federal Government AND retailers can gather up all our personal information and create profiles on eveyone? (Maybe one of those profiles will have a glitch and one of us will be blown away during a drug-raid gone wrong?)
Anything we can do?
Well, if it matters, I guess we could go ALL-CASH. Leave your credit cards at home (they are really tracking machines). Do NOT take your cell phone into the store. Tear off all RFID chips in the parking lot.
Wear aluminum foil hats?
Does it matter?