Next Phase Will Get

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-11-09 Print this article Print

Worse"> "Today, were dealing with read-only, serial-number, license-plate model technology with RFID. Were not yet embracing read/write technology for RFID," Liard said. "When we do embrace the read/write functionality, youre going to increase the amount of information that is going to be pumped through your enterprise. Youll then have a whole other set of security risks. "Who has access to this information? Who has the right to change this information? How am I going to share this information with my partners? The challenges start to multiply, as does the amount of data," he said. "Thats when things become really interesting." How overblown are RFID privacy fears? To find out, click here.
VDCs Liard suggested that retail IT execs are not bringing in a group thats varied enough to manage the RFID trials and that the people usually left out are those who will be the most directly impacted.
"The problem is that you have some end-user organizations that dont have what I think you need to have: one guy from IT and one guy from ops looking at RFID technology," Liard said. "Some folks just have their IT people looking at it. It shouldnt just be the IT guys and the C-level execs signing a check over." "It needs to be an ops guy from distribution or inventory. Whos going to be using RFID? Its the guy on the shop floor." Another IT exec caution involves vendor relations. There is little doubt that the young RFID community is going to be in for some massive consolidation over the next two years, a mixture of acquisitions and going-out-of-business sales. While that fact alone is not necessarily a huge problem, many of those middleware vendors are pushing highly customized, proprietary approaches. When companies need to quickly migrate away from a company that was implementing RFID in a non-industry-standard fashion, it could get messy. "There are lots of willy-nilly partnerships and a lot of empty news releases out there today. Who cares?" Liard asked. "If company XYZ disappears and you were using them, youre going to care a lot." Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on technologys impact on retail.

Evan Schuman is the editor of's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at

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