Last week, Storage Networking World (SNW). Tomorrow the world?
There are some questions that ought never be asked, either because the answer should be intuitively obvious to all, or because in some other way asking these questions tends to prove the old adage that “no questions are ever stupid, but some of the people who ask them sure are.” I include in this category inquiries such as “Is your IT budget as large as you need it to be?”, “Do you verify all your backups?” and “Where do I insert the anal probe?”
Conversely, there are also some questions that always should be asked, such as: “Are you sure this will interoperate with my existing investment?” and, more to the point today, “Do you mind if I follow you around and collect data on you without telling you that I am doing so or why I am doing it or with whom I am sharing it?”
What all this has to do with storage, why Paula from the lunch line was annoyed as hell, why my old friend Erik-the-wafer-head (sorry for not recognizing you right away Erik, but it had been a long time) just shook his head, and why Chuck the engineering VP seemed to be plotting a way to retaliate, will all be revealed below.
If you were at SNW last week and still have your badge, go get it. I’ll wait.
Now look inside the badge holder. No, not in the front where they put the name tag, the conference agenda and the pen. Turn over the badge holder and peek inside the small pocket at the back where most of us would never think to look.
“What’s this!” you exclaim, pulling out a small piece of paper with what appears to be a printed circuit adhering to it.
“An RFID (radio frequency identification) tag,” say I.
“Why would they put that in here?” you ask.
“To track you, to see where you go and what you visited,” I reply.
“What do you think they used it for?” you ask.
“Probably to track attendance at the various sessions… but who knows?” I answer, in an attempt to be enigmatic.
“Could they use this data for anything else?” you ask.
“Yup,” I reply sagely. “Anything they darn well please.”
“Wouldn’t it have been polite to have asked us about this first?” you say, beginning to get a tad annoyed.
“I’ll go you one better,” say I. “Wasn’t it just rude to collect data on our comings and goings this way without asking us about it first.” I then go on to point out that even the most benign data collection on individuals without asking their permission is, let’s face it, spying.
Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.