the holistic radical

November 26, 2007

RFID in your clothes? Shop at thrift stores instead

Or minimize your consumption altogether.
Support secondary economies–buy at thrift stores.
Reduce, reuse. Better for you, the planet, and your civil liberties.

This is really insulting–big brands and stores need to learn CONSUMERS ARE NOT CRIMINALS.

I do not even shop at stores that require me to check my bag (except, painfully, the occasional record shop)–I hate this “practice.” Heaven forbid I should do more than 1 thing a day. I do not want to trust a clerk with my bag in a cubbyhole, thanks…besides, you have cameras anyway, cut the crap…do we need to be doubly invasive? Checked bags and cameras? If you have one, you don’t need the other.

Support small businesses instead. They don’t want to do this. It’s the large brands and the big-box retail that are greedy and paranoid about “shoplifting.” But, at the same time, they love all the valuable “marketing information” this supposed “inventory control” tells them. This is one kind of “consumer research” that doesn’t need to happen.
Conventional stores employ sweatshop labor.
Boycott Levi’s, Dockers, and other big clothing brands, megabrands, and umbrella-brands until they take a PUBLIC stand that they will NOT use RFID in their clothes to be kept inside the clothes (sewn into the clothes), to remain in the clothes after their sale to consumers.

—from the spychips.com blog:

April 28, 2006

Tell Levi Strauss What You Think about RFID

levis-dockers_rfid.GIF
Graphic by Todd Fox

Many of you who have read our press release about the Levi Strauss item-level tagging initiative are emailing to request contact information for Levi Strauss. Here it is:

Main Number: (415)501-6000
This number goes to the main switchboard. The operator can switch you to Consumer Relations. Remember. If you call the toll-free Consumer Relations number on the Levi Strauss website, your phone number can be obtained.

Email: info@levi.com
This email address goes to a general email box. Consumer Relations would like you to use a special online form, but that doesn’t give you a record of your comment. Please share a copy with us. You can email me at Liz@spychips.com.

Snail mail:
Levi Strauss
Consumer Relations
1155 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

We are hopeful that Levi Strauss will stop its item-level RFID tagging initiatives and honor the moratorium called for by over 40 of the world’s leading privacy and civil liberties organizations. (See: http://www.spychips.com/jointrfid_position_paper.html)

RFID technology can easily be abused, and we believe it is essential that all the societal issues be explored before it is deployed. We hope Levi Strauss will be the company to step forward and begin the needed dialogue.

The current Levi Strauss RFID test reportedly involves RFID hang tags that can be clipped from the garments at checkout. But as anyone who has read “Spychips” knows, the RFID industry has discussed affixing tags on and within products and tracking consumers through them–a practice that could usher in an Orwellian surveillance society. On the clothing front, companies have talked about embedding RFID tags in the seams of garments and in flexible clothing labels. There has even been talk of using threads woven into fabric as antennas.

That’s why it is crucial to counter *any* attempts at tagging individual consumer items now. Once the RFID infrastructure is in place, the nature of tagging–and the tracking done via the tags–can change overnight.

– Liz McIntyre

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