Just the mention of RFID implants gives most people the creeps.
The general public probably can be forgiven for having something of a schizophrenic attitude toward information technology. The convenience and productivity gains are at this point a given, but the security and privacy implications are only now getting widespread attention. Also, the offshore outsourcing debate has created a haves-versus-have-nots attitude about the IT industry. And it doesn't help when the federal government metaphorically speaks out of two sides of its mouth, on the one hand blessing an IT development that many people react to with horror, on the other hand demonizing a technology that most people have experienced through the enthusiasm of their children. I'm not saying either pronouncement is wrong, just that together they represent something of an unintended dichotomy.
First, the Food and Drug Administration last week approved the use of a subcutaneous radio-frequency identification chip for storing medical data. The upside is immediately apparent to those involved in health care. "A completely unambiguous way of identifying a patient would be advantageous," says Alan Abramson, CIO of HealthPartners, a Minnesota health-plan provider. But the general public already is skittish about the privacy questions around RFID, and just the mention of RFID implants gives most people the heebie-jeebies. Some fundamentalist Christians equate it to the mark of the devil referred to in the Book of Revelation, and even people with less extreme views have second thoughts about introducing hardware into their own or their childrens' bodies, especially technology potentially used for tracking.
Second, the Department of Justice released its months-in-the-making report on the prosecution of intellectual-property crimes last week, and it points a very critical finger at peer-to-peer networking, calling it "one of the greatest emerging threats to intellectual-property ownership," and making it clear that even "passive sharing" of copyrighted material should be subject to prosecution. Justice recommends that copyright holders bring legal action against companies that "intentionally induce" copyright infringement. Does that mean the entertainment industry is cleared to sue developers of peer-to-peer networking technology? We'll see.
On a lighter note, the Los Angeles Times reported last week that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has had preliminary talks with the National Football League about purchasing a team and moving it to Los Angeles, which has been without football since the Raiders moved back to Oakland in 1995. Oracle and the NFL aren't commenting.
I don't believe it. If Larry Ellison was interested in football, I'd think
he'd just buy the whole league and declare himself the winner. Can I buy an
industry tip? Send it to email@example.com or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to
talk about RFID and privacy, peer-to-peer networking and copyright infringement,
or your football picks, meet me at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post.
To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps ReportThe DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.