Where’s Waldo?

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One thing that certainly still isn’t clear is what positive impact RFID will offer that will compensate for the $2.4 million price tag.   The argument as it stands is that it will save some $11 million in lost revenue of people who have invalid licensing.  Unfortunately, this sounds a lot like a solution look for a problem which will be demonstrated by the two following scenarios.

Scenario 1:  The current system

Police officers setup a checkpoint at the Aquarium to pull people over and do license checks.  This involves a covertly placed police officer with a notepad to look at licenses on windshields, write down license numbers and radio officers at the aquarium to pull them over.

The downside?  It’s blatently obvious that a checkpoint is setup at the aquarium whenever traffic backs up all the way to shelly bay market place.  The simple solution for a license offender?  Turn around.

Scenario 2:  The RFID way

Police officers setup a checkpoint at the Aquarium to pull people over and do license checks.  This involves a covertly placed police officer with a notepad and wireless RFID reader to detect whether RFID tags are working on windshields, write down license numbers and radio officers at the aquarium to pull them over.

It has the same downside of increasing congestion and in reality, you still need officers to make sure people have RFID tags installed and active on their cars.  If the tag removed, an automated scanner won’t pick up anything unless you replace the officer with a notepad with a car sensor of some sort, but then you wouldn’t be able to record the license plates in the case they tried to speed through the checkpoint.

Conclusion

RFID in it’s present form will save the expense of one officer and a notepad.  For $2.4 million it’ll take us an officers whole career to regain the invested cost.

So?  What have we learned?  RFID in it’s present form is a solution looking for a problem.   That is unless there are covert plans to introduce automatic speed detection, congestion taxes and automated parking after the election.  Of which these will only punish the law abiding citizens among us who actually go get fitted with RFID tags as those who don’t will still have to be caught the old fashioned way.

Mind you, many likely would be all for reasonable methods of introduction including automated ticketing for those traveling faster than 70kph, a 6 month trial of the congestion tax to prove whether the people prefer it to congestion itself and well, automated parking you can’t argue with that. 

The fear is that there is a grand vision that only resides in the minds of a select few and the rest of us aren’t important enough to be privy to the intentions until it’s too late.  Even worse, if RFID is used maliciously to track individuals.

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3 thoughts on “Where’s Waldo?

  1. I suggest that anyone not familiar with RFID technology, read Liz McIntyre of CASPIAN http://www.nocards.org/
    RFID?? There is just too much the gov can encode in those devices that give me the shakes… Big brother will be able to track our every move – what we buy, where we take it, and what our basic likes and dislikes are.
    Does Bermuda need RFID tech? I really don’t think so and once the gov gets their hands on this, I am afraid for our basic freedoms and basic rights… big brother is watching, listening and taking notes… one day he WILL act, and that frightens the hell out of me.
    Remember Hitler? The Jews’ were not the only non-Arian who went to the gas – many blacks did too.

  2. First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.
    – Martin Niemoller

  3. You know, in todays enviroment and our local I think I can exclude what was said prior by Andrew and CERP.
    We have not adavanced that much in Bermuda to compare those things. Now, it’s all about money and class in a relative way.
    Bermuda is diverse and a large portion of residents are related, and integrated family wise.
    I can’t see this happening. The Hitlers of the world did not condem their own to death which would include the aforementioned.
    What I mean by that is family and close relatives. In this day and age we can remove leaders and followers by just a simple vote. Thanks heavens for that and I hope it is used wisely with forethought about the future for our children.
    Gotta run………..someone must follow…..does that make be a naughty boy?

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