Tagging your bags…good idea…tagging you?

By | September 9, 2006

Vnunet.com reports that scientists at University College London are developing a system called Optag, that combines RFID tags and closed-caption tv cameras to track passenger movements in busy airports. The system will work by placing these tags on boarding passes.

While the possible benefits are many…passengers who are late for their flights can be located, personnel can be better assigned to areas that require them, etc… However, the freedom issues of tagging every boarding pass will meet with resistance. Despite the insistance this is merely for purposes of efficiency, the best use of such a system is security tracking. They will know where everyone in the airport is, and be able to zero in cameras on them to monitor suspicious behavior.

There are already people who have RFID tags implanted for various reasons. Our colleagues at Gadget Wisdom referred us to this recent PC Magazine article on chipping yourself, which they are including in an upcoming post on access control.

We will continue to monitor this technology for its use in airports. Perhaps someday boarding passes themselves with be replaced with boarding chips, which will not only track you, but save on the thousands of sheets of paper used as boarding passes each day, replacing them with their digital equivalents. Either way, we do wonder how requiring an RFID chip to be included inside your boarding pass will affect those individuals who are doing web-check-in. We are sure it will be sorted it, as it will be several years before a change could be implemented.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.

2 thoughts on “Tagging your bags…good idea…tagging you?

  1. Green Baron

    I see the benefits here, but I don’t like the idea of cameras were actions can be recorded. I am not too concerned as flying is voluntary, and I imagine airlines will implement the plans in ways that won’t alienate customers.

    I will be curious to see the finished products.

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