Culture

Spychips, the books

The privacy debate over radio frequency identification (RFID) appears to be petering out these days.

The technology, which relies on special microchips to remotely identify and wirelessly track the objects and people on which they travel, is moving full steam ahead into factories, stores, prisons, hospitals, libraries and a host of other places. Numerous bills designed to curtail its use, including two in California, have stalled.

But Katherine Albrecht, RFID's most outspoken critic, is not slowing down. Her new book, entitled "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID," is set for release next week by Nelson Current.

Here's part of Amazon.com's description of the book:

"As this mind-blowing book explains, plans and efforts are being made now by global corporations and the U.S government to turn this advanced technology, these spychips, into a way to track our daily activities-and keep us all on Big Brother's short leash."

Sounds like it could be a good read. But a second volume, which Albrecht plans to publish next year, sounds pretty whacky. That book is called "The Spychips Threat : Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Computer Tracking." According to Amazon, it will explore how RFID "actually fits into the schema of many evangelicals' interpretation of biblical prophecy."

Albrecht's religious views were oultined recently in a Wired News story.

She's not alone in equating RFID chips with the Mark of the Beast prophesied in the Book of Revelation. But it's sure to give her corporate detractors more reason to dismiss her.