The potential ramifications of identity technologies continue to emerge. I believe that RFID is the technology that has the greatest potential to significantly change things in the near-term, but it is only one technology in a vast sea of identity tools.
Fingerprint, eye and face scanners, DNA testing and other technologies that can be used to identify people are rapidly being adopted to solve problems. For instance, did you hear about the school in London that has installed a retinal scanner to identify students and charge them for lunch? The headmaster is concerned that if students are forced to pay for their lunches in cash the poor ones who receive food for free could be stigmatized.
There are also a number of technologies being developed that can identify things. Were you aware that an identification system that detects gunshots in real time, determines the make and model of gun, the precise location of the gun when it was fired and the direction of each shot will be rolled out this year? The system is called the On Alert Gunshot Detection System. It costs about $25,000 per square mile to deploy the sensors involved.
By the way, a hint for those who might be feeling a little paranoid: If you purchase a product that contains an RFID chip (read anything) and you would just as soon it was not tracked, you can microwave it for three seconds and it will kill the chip's ability to function.
For a short article about the ACLU's take on all of this go here: