Grocery store tests RFID by photographing customers

In what is likely to be the stupidest public relations mistake in RFID history so far, British supermarket chain Tesco has apparently been testing RFID tags with Gillette by photographing customers when the pick up the chipped merchandise from the shelves and also as they leave the store. By comparing the photos, they have been able to determine how accurately the system is working for tracking the devices.

However, the uproar reported in The Guardian is indicative of why this was such a bad move. If they had done almost anything except take pictures of their customers, as if taking mug shots of suspected felons, news would have been about the potential problems and the press would have to take industry's word that they were not planning on doing anything particularly intrusive.

Instead, the company has single-handedly set back the RFID publicity machine immeasurably due to their poor choice of tests, especially in the UK where there is already uproar over the use of video cameras and video profiling equipment on the streets.