Putting the Freaq in Freaquency

5:55 PM -- If you haven't read any Thomas Pynchon or Don DeLillo novels lately, or you're otherwise feeling paranoia-deprived, have a look at this video presentation on Spychips.com, from high-tech spygear maker Compex Inc. (which may or may not be a real company, judging from its Website), showing off its "Interlinx" system for personal RFID tags at airports. If they'd set out to make this technology outlandishly creepy, they couldn't have done a better job.

In about five minutes, the animated video shows a presumably innocent airline passenger with the priceless name of Bobo Simonak going through the check-in procedure at his local international airport. At each stage of the process the "Radio Freaquency" [sic] tag in his pocket transmits all his personal info from birthdate to turn-ons/turn-offs (OK, I made that part up). The last sequence shows a sinister-looking CIA-type dude giving our pal Bobo the RF once-over as he sits reading FHM, or whatever it is that Bobos read these days, in the waiting lounge.

This classic bit of freaq-you-out invasiveness is punctuated by ominous Orwellian statements in big block letters: "Now you know where he wants to fly." "Now you know what's in his suitcase."

Now I know why RFID gets a bad rap these days.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

sfwriter 12/5/2012 | 3:37:13 AM
re: Putting the Freaq in Freaquency RFID chips will probably not ever carry that degree of personal information, but many travelers are already carrying RFID chips in their pockets, embedded in U.S. passports. As of October 2006, all new U.S. passports will carry RFID chips in them.

Some airports are experimenting with using RFID chips to help route bags as well.

There are even a few people out there who are embedding RFID chips in their arms. Be warned if you decide to do this: the chips set off the exit alarms at Wal-Mart and Home Depot. One person told me that he had a heck of a time convincing the security guard at Home Depot that he really hadn't stolen anything, that the chip in his arm had set off the alarm.
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