According to a recent Chicago Sun Times investigative feature, Wal-Mart
and Procter and Gamble (P&G) have been found to be concealing
high tech tracking devices in their consumer products and hiding cameras
in store displays. The tracking devices, known as Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID), can be as small as a grain of sand, and, so
far, they have been detected in P&Gs Lipfinity products at Wal-Mart,
as well as in Gillette razors and Benetton clothes. The electromagnetic
tracking devices can be read through clothes and walls. P&G admits
this was just a trial-run of tracking devices it would ultimately
like to use in all products—serving as "the barcode of the
future," and "strictly for marketing research." Katherine
Albrecht, the Director of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion
and Numbering, said, "This trial is a perfect illustration of
how easy it is to set up a secret RFID infrastructure and use it to
spy on people." In addition to the "spy chips", hidden
cameras were also discovered in store displays, allowing P&G to
watch shoppers from hundreds of miles away. Wal-Mart does not deny
having prior knowledge of the hidden cameras and tracking devices,
given the fact that their employees set up those very same displays.