Of all the things to get hyper about, worrying that Wal-Mart and Gillette will use inventory management tracking tags to spy on you seems pretty far down the list.
Truth is, if you belong to one of those "bonus card" programs, They—you know the ones—already know what you buy, when, and how much of it. Paying with some sort of credit or debit card also generates a paper trail that could allow some gnome somewhere to find out that yes, you do, on occasion, shave some part of your body.
Wal-Mart, an absolute world leader in gathering info on what it sells, which just might explain why it is the world's largest company, has backed off using the tags on its retail shelves. The company's warehouse automation will no doubt continue apace. But Wal-Mart hasn't been entirely forthright in why it wants the tags, it seems. Cutting down on employee theft has to be a major attraction of such technology, although to say so too loudly probably isn't a smooth move.
Here's hoping the tracking tags make it to retail stores sooner or later. If it helps keep shelves stocked and lowers prices, who cares if the world knows I'm a sucker for 2-for-1s on Charmin?