Retailing giant Wal-Mart are planning on using new advanced electronic ID tags so they can keep a track on individual pairs of jeans and underwear. It will be the start of a system that is hoped will have better controls on inventory, but some people are concerned about privacy.
In an article by Miguel Bustillo of The Wall Street Journal it is reported that the new removable tags will start being used next month which will allow individual garments to be read by a hand-held scanner. This will enable Wal-Mart staff to know which size of a range of jeans are out of stock, so helping to keep shelves correctly stocked and inventory closely checked.
If the trial proves successful the new smart tags will be rolled out on other products across the company’s 3750 US stores. The new tags have raised some privacy concerns in some quarters as they can be removed but not turned off, and they are trackable. They are concerned that some criminals or unscrupulous traders could scan consumers’ garbage and find out what has been recently purchased.
These theories have been dismissed by smart tag experts and Wal-Mart has insisted that suppliers only add the tags to packaging or removable labels to help with fears that they could be tracking consumer’s movements.
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