Stop RFID before it’s too late

R/GA Creative Director Runs Twitter, RFID Experiment says the article on MediaPost.

“Interactive digital agency R/GA’s Richard Ting has been experimenting with a cutting-edge technology on Twitter. The platform, dubbed touchatag, allows his 20-month-old daughter to trigger tweets by swiping tags affixed to books and toys near a reader that resembles a bar code scanner.”

I fully appreciate Mr. Tings desire to see how far things can be pushed, and am sure he has not thought all the implications through, but I have.

I have long spoken about the only logical future for trackable advertising to deliver the kind of Minority Report adaptive advertising that we are hell-bent on delivering will be through RFID – and I am talking human implantable microchips to every single person on the planet. Advertising is only one reason for implementing such an Orwellian nightmare.

Apart from the known cancerous effects of RFID (, making this wholly irresponsible as a parent on a sensitive young child – it is this careless fool hardy approach to experimentation on tracking without any consideration for human rights, privacy implications and any kind of moral code that is more akin to Mengele then those of us in media.

Mr Ting, everything your daughter does is now open to every pervert, freak and pedophile on the net… and where do you think this will ultimately end up?

Tagging every device and every human being is Hitler’s wet dream and reduces life to a mere number with a palatable face disguised as a “sweet tweet”.

One minute we are talking about micro-chipping animals, next minute its HIV patients.

Then we are linking it to advertising like Mini RFID Billboards in the USA or Estée Lauder to drive sales in UK stores or linking it to personal recognition on billboards by Yahoo Japan.

Then we are trying to hide these chips inside your clothes, even preventing them being destroyed by temperature and acid spills, then we are trying to hide these inside your body via manufactured pharmaceuticals.

Ensuring people “wave-and-pay” as they travel and purchase; from London Underground to Toll Roads, from Wal-Mart to Tesco – which is all widely known to be fallible.

Then the same company developing human implementation of RFID is discussing the benefits of preventing babies being abducted, sweetly labeling it “hugs”… and now it’s ‘tweets‘.

The first thing you do is you identify individuals by a distinguishing mark. Then you adapt their environment to suit your aims.

Let me say this loud and clear, as I have done beforethis technology will be the death of humanity – and I for one will not be part of this suicide.

“Just remember the peg number where you hang your coat up, when you enter the shower.”

About the Author:

I am a Digital Transformation Strategist and focussed on global evangelism; helping position clients at the forefront of emerging media and the next generation of consumer engagement. I'm passionate about how storytelling and creative technology can be used to deliver focussed messages – irrespective of the consumer viewing device – and then drive favourable outcomes for brands, whilst addressing concerns over user profiling.


  1. Richard Ting April 17, 2009 at 02:22

    Mr. Donaldson,

    I appreciate your concerns and your melodramatic tone is amusing to say the least, but like I mentioned already in our DM tweet exchange from earlier today, THE RFID TAGS ARE NOT IMPLANTED ON MY DAUGHTER. Her RFID tags are affixed to objects and toys that live in a box in the closet and there is ZERO scientific proof that these passive (unpowered) RFID tags cause any form of cancer. The link ( that you reference in your post is referring to implanted radio-frequency (RFID) microchips that are active (meaning powered).

    You seem to be an intelligent person, but you are drawing some wildly erroneous conclusions based off of your limited information. Please get your facts straight. I will reiterate for your benefit, THE RFID TAGS ARE NOT IMPLANTED AND THEY ARE PASSIVE, UNPOWERED STICKERS.

    Once again, thank you for your concern.

  2. Dean Donaldson April 17, 2009 at 08:58

    Mr. Ting I beg to differ.

    ALL animal-implanted microchips are PASSIVE RFID, known as PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder). They are not yet using active technology due to price or shrinking active (chip+battery) to an acceptable size, not to mention battery life. This is probably just a matter of time however. The combination of “reading” via the scanner of said chips is still using wave forms that are known and documented to produce cancer. Only last week a Texan city rescinded a mandatory pet microchipping ordinance due to the perceived risk (between 1-10%).

    That said, I fully appreciate your non-implanted status on your child.

    Personally I am not in favour of someone so young to be in proximity of said chips in any form, and just as we tend to restrict access to mobile phones in the same vein as not giving them an adult dosage of any drugs, taking a view that their bodies are far more sensitive than an adults. There simply is not enough research into this and I would not offer my child up to be a guinea pig.

    I also accept each person will take a different view on what they see as protectivism.

    HUGS” argues for RFID of minors to monitor them, i.e. protection, I argue against it as I want to know who is monitoring who with their ‘active’ chips, i.e. privacy and protection. XMark (responsible for HUGS) has just been spun off as a subsidiary of VeriChip so people could not obviously connect the company pushing infant protection to the one pushing for human implants. Why?!

    The points I am raising re: pursuit of this technology are based on the slippery-slope downwards to spiraling completely out of control – and its being done in an underhand way.

    Cancer is not my primary concern. Fascist dictatorship and controlled slaughter is.

    There are many positive aspects and arguments for RFID, I am very well aware, but at the end of the day no government or organisation should have so much power. It is too much to handle without corruption and history proves my point time and time again. It starts small until all the dots are joined. Once ‘the system’ is in place, there is no going back… and do you know a perfect human who can run it for the good of all? When the entire drive is cost-efficiencies from unethical exploitation from the outset…

    This technology will be used against us under the guise of our protection.

    I simply cannot standby and partisan to this happening, however noble or innocent each iteration tries to “sweeten” us.

    Therefore I say stop RFID before it is too late.

    So Mr. Ting, I urge you as I do others, to fully investigate the implications of a ubiquitous tagged society – I think you will find It’s not a world we would want to bring children into.

    No VeriChip inside
    The Last Enemy – Living in the UK

    or any other article I have written on RIFD.

  3. John Bellingham April 19, 2009 at 10:58

    There is nothing wrong with the expansion of RFID tagging–if you carry a cell phone, you are already carrying a traceable transponder with more functionality than even long range, active RFID chips. Nor, is there anything wrong with ID cards (I’ve had various National cards for over 30 years)-the advantages of an ID card outweigh the disadvantages. Video surveillance is acceptable too as is even a national DNA register as long as one can trust the Watchers. What has gone wrong is that the Stalinist trained Labour Party have politicised the Police into a Stasi-like organisation more worried about “Order” than about crime and the protection of the people. Protest will be crushed. Dissidents hounded, smeared and harrassed. Remember that the Nazis came to power legally in the most liberal democracy in Europe.

  4. Dean Donaldson May 5, 2009 at 07:07

    John – We close our curtains for a reason – and that is privacy is a basic human right. The point is history has proven we can not trust the “watchers”. Once the system is complete, there is no going back. RFID is only the beginning; next will be implantable Brain Chips. And yes I fully expect ALL this to be legalised…

    Will write an article on that one to show you what I mean.

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