Walmart RFID rollout triggers privacy concerns

Walmart recently announced a (long-overdue) rollout of RFID technology to new categories like jeans and underwear…triggering an outcry by privacy advocates. Here’s my opinion, from a recent RetailWire post:

Walmart (and therefore other retailers) have been slower to adopt RFID technology than I would have expected four or five years ago. It is clearly a breakthrough to see the large-scale rollout that Walmart has announced, and merchants who have been waiting on the sidelines will move forward now that vendors are being pushed in this direction.

RFID is an important advance in supply chain management, all the way from the vendor (and its own factories) through distribution centers to store shelves. Privacy advocates’ concerns are likely unfounded (in my opinion) but these issues will have to be confronted by Walmart and others, if only to avoid negative publicity.

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