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Spychip Levis

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
you may remember this unsettling business thought i'd canvass steezites to gauge your reaction hopefully, you are appalled here's the article for those that may have missed it: SPYCHIPPED LEVI'S BRAND JEANS HIT THE U.S. Levi Strauss Confirms RFID Test, Refuses to Disclose Location It may be time to ditch your Dockers and lay off the Levi's, say privacy activists Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre. New information confirms that Levi Strauss & Co. is violating a call for a moratorium on item-level RFID by spychipping its clothing. What's more, the company is refusing to disclose the location of its U.S. test. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a controversial technology that uses tiny microchips to track items from a distance. These RFID microchips have earned the nickname "spychips" because each contains a unique identification number, like a Social Security number for things, that can be read silently and invisibly by radio waves. Over 40 of the world's leading privacy and civil liberties organizations have called for a moratorium on chipping individual consumer items because the technology can be used to track people without their knowledge or consent. Jeffrey Beckman, Director of Worldwide and U.S. Communications for Levi Strauss, confirmed his company's chipping program in an email exhange with McIntyre, saying "a retail customer is testing RFID at one location [in the U.S.]...on a few of our larger-volume core men's Levi's jeans styles." However, he refused to name the location. "Out of respect for our customer's wishes, we are not going to discuss any specifics about their test," he said. Beckman also confirmed the company is tagging Levi Strauss clothing products, including Dockers brand pants, at two of its franchise locations in Mexico. McIntyre was tipped off to the activity by a mention in an industry publication. The article indicated Levi Strauss was looking for additional RFID "test partners." Albrecht believes the companies are keeping mum about the U.S. test location in order to prevent a consumer backlash. Clothing retailer Benetton was hit hard by a consumer boycott led by Albrecht in 2003 when the company announced plans to embed RFID tags in its Sisley line of women's clothing. The resulting consumer outcry forced the company to retreat from its plans and disclaim its intentions. Levi Strauss can little afford similar problems with consumers. It is one of the world's largest brand-name apparel marketers with a presence in more than 110 countries, but has suffered through several years of declining sales as younger consumers gravitate to new brands. The company has also been hurt by Wal-Mart's decision to cut back on inventory in a bid to shore up its own declining sales. While Levi Strauss reports that its current RFID trials use external RFID "hang tags" that can be clipped from the clothes and the focus is on inventory management, not customer tracking, the company isn't guaranteeing how it will use RFID in the future. "Companies like Levi Strauss are painting their RFID trials as innocuous," observes Albrecht. "But this technology is extraordinarily dangerous. There is a reason why we have asked companies not to spychip clothing. Few things are more intimately connected with an individual than the clothes they wear." "Once clothing manufacturers begin applying RFID to hang tags, the floodgates will open and we'll soon find these things sewn into the hem of our jeans," Albrecht adds. "The problem with RFID is that it is tracking technology, plain and simple." Albrecht and McIntyre point out that tracking people through the things they wear and carry is more than mere speculation. In their book "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID," they reveal sworn patent documents that describe ways to link the unique serial numbers on RFID-tagged items with the people who purchase them. One of the most graphic examples is IBM's "Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-Tagged Items." In that patent application, IBM inventors suggest tracking consumers for marketing and advertising purposes. "That's enough to steam most consumers," says McIntyre."But IBM's proposal that the government track people through RFID tags on the things they wear and carry should send a cold chill down our spines." IBM inventors detail how the government could use RFID tags to track people in public places like shopping malls, museums, libraries, sports arenas, elevators, and even restrooms. "Make no mistake," McIntyre adds. "Today's RFID inventory tags could evolve into embedded homing beacons. Unchecked, this technology could become a Big Brother bonanza and a civil liberties nightmare." consumer reaction __________________
post #2 of 25
What idiot at Levi's thought this would ever be a good idea?
post #3 of 25
I, for one, welcome our new denim overlords.
post #4 of 25
was wondering what would finally get me to register.

this all a bunch of fud. the tags were clipped to the outside of clothing, never embedded in the clothing. take three seconds to google and you'll find this info at (somewhat) credible sources; rather than a bunch of alarmist kooks who probably believe that rfid is the mark of the beast.

edited to add: if this bothers you, you should stop using ups b/c they use rfid in the exact same manner.
post #5 of 25
I, for one, am honored to be in the presence of the sausage king of chicago.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman
edited to add: if this bothers you, you should stop using ups b/c they use rfid in the exact same manner.

I don't wear my UPS packages and I expect people to know that I have had something shipped. Not sure the connection here.
post #7 of 25
I think you need this to protect you from those...



Beware the helicopters...
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman
was wondering what would finally get me to register.

this all a bunch of fud. the tags were clipped to the outside of clothing, never embedded in the clothing. take three seconds to google and you'll find this info at (somewhat) credible sources; rather than a bunch of alarmist kooks who probably believe that rfid is the mark of the beast.

edited to add: if this bothers you, you should stop using ups b/c they use rfid in the exact same manner.
Please link to these (somewhat) credible sources. If these are tags attached the way mall retailers sew in RFID tags, it's not a big deal. If these are non generic tracking tags that are, say, sewn in between thick seams, I would suggest buying clothes elsewhere or microwaving your Dockers.
post #9 of 25
I would microwave my Dockers anyway. Just on principle.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucemaster
I would microwave my Dockers anyway. Just on principle.

Fuck that. Taser ftw.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucemaster
I would microwave my Dockers anyway. Just on principle.
Yeah, I was actually going to write that at the end of my post, but then it occurred to me that that would require having Dockers in the first place, and I don't want to go to the Hague.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
i heard (from a source that volunteered the info under the condition of anonymity) that the spychips are imbedded in the rivets of the evil jeans in question. unfortunately, said rivets are hidden.
post #13 of 25
You know I'm going to spend the rest of my evening inspecting my 514s now, right? Magnifying glass and all.
post #14 of 25
If they're sewn in (or worse, riveted in), you won't find them without a knife and a pair of pliers. Which is about what it would take to get a straight answer from a Levi's exec, it seems.
post #15 of 25
Drizzt's got a few big knives, and I'm sure globe could help us out with technique. And I miss San Francisco. We can make a quick trip and sort out this and the Japanese denim fiasco in just a few days! Mexican food in the Mission on me!
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