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German retailer Metro discontinues RFID loyalty trial

MARCH 02, 2004 - Responding to pressures from civil liberties group FoeBud and others, the German retailer Metro has stop issuing loyalty cards containing RFID tags and will replace the estimated 10,000 or more existing RFID-enabled cards it has already issued. The highly innovative new Metro Future Store, opened a year-ago in Rheinburg, Germany, and set the standard for the use of RFID technology for the retail industry. The technology imbeds microchips in the merchandise that allow tracking, from production throughout the entire life cycle of the product, if desired. Protestors, including Caspian (Consumers against supermarket privacy invasion and numbering), a U. S.-based organization, have also demonstrated against Wal-Mart and Tesco on the same issue. Caspian director Katherine Albrecht says, "Consumers are telling businesses like Metro, Procter & Gamble and Gillette that they won't tolerate being spied on through products or services." Metro's supply chain RFID efforts, which do not involve tagging individual products, will remain unaffected.

Display and Design Magazine, New York, 02. März 2004

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