Is your shopping bag bugged? An article in The Guardian this weekend reveals that it might be. Skip the opening paragraphs on loyalty cards and check out the lengthy exploration of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips:
[I]f the ultimate idea is to tag every sold thing, items could be "seen" in your possession. And that's where privacy campaigners start to worry. Because then you could be telling anyone who has the right kind of scanning device—from burglars to the government—what you have bought, where from, how much it cost, and anything else that might be added to an item's database entry, such as who bought it. In this scenario, individuals could be identified by what they wear. On top of which, retailers could monitor your behaviour in relation to their goods. Did you try on a garment? How long did you hold that product? Are you trying to steal? Now does that sound a bit like surveillance? Now would it worry you if this technology were already being used at several of your favourite stores?
As the article goes on to observe, it is, as part of an anti-shoplifting system that stores a photograph of every customer who picks up a pack of razors off the shelf.