Something new between us and our Calvins

In a move to monitor inventory in its stores, Wal-Mart will launch an item-level Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) inventory tracking program starting August 1st, 2010.  In its first phase, the system will track individual pairs of jeans, socks and underwear.  The items will be tagged with removable RFID tags that can be read from a distance using hand-held scanners so employees will know what sizes are missing from shelves and what is in the stock room, all in a matter of seconds.  If the program is successful, it will be rolled out at Wal-Mart’s more than 3750 U.S. stores with more products.

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Location, location, location

Do you know how your location information is used?  A recent survey commissioned by security company, Webroot, asked 1,645 social network users in the U.S. and UK who own location-enabled mobile devices about their use of location-based tools and services.  The survey found that 39 percent of respondents reported using geo-location on their mobile devices and more than half (55 percent) of those users are worried about their loss of privacy. 

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Time Inconsistency, Behavioural Economics and Privacy

A question that occupies a lot of our time in the office is why, despite growing research that clearly shows that privacy is important to Canadians, do many of us give out our personal information to anyone who asks? While we know privacy is important to people, they still trade personal information for just about anything – from a “free” service to a chance to win something. Why does what we say is important to us often not translate to our observable behaviour? Where does this disconnect happen?

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