Today's Wall Street Journal features a front page article on how Wal-Mart plans to begin equipping individual clothing with RFID tags. Clothing is just the beginning, however. If successful, the tags will likely be a part of everything Wal-Mart sells. Wal-Mart claims the tags allow them to better track inventory, but there is nothing to prevent the clothing from continuing to be tracked after it leaves the store.
RFID tags can be read from very long distances. The potential for abuse grows as more and more products and devices are being created with these tags built in. That's why Wal-Mart's announcement is so distressing. The retail giant beats a path that other retailers and manufacturers tend to follow.