New Revu No 19, 2015: 'Welcome to the future'
Excerpt from festival edition Nieuwe Revu:
“Paying for your beer at a festival while streaming without a wallet, while a criminal organisation robs your house. It is all possible thanks to technology that is developing at lightning speed. Should we really want this?
(...) RFID, also known as Radio Frequency Identification, is increasingly being used at festivals. Since 2014, Lowlands has incorporated these chips into wristbands to, for example, collect your beer orders without a wallet or track down your lost friends. The RFID chip can exchange data wirelessly via checkpoints, which will be located at a number of places on the grounds. By checking in, the system will know where the wearers of the wristbands are at all times. But so do Lowlands and its partner companies. Vincent Böhre, director of Privacy First, sees the festival-goer as a marketing target: "As a festival-goer with an RFID chip, you are actually a kind of walking product. Because in that chip you all carry, store and collect information that is valuable to companies involved in the festival. Then you are actually becoming a kind of cash cow." But not only the Lowlands band has an RFID chip, also your passport and public transport chip card. More often than not, these tickets are personalised. At festivals, students, a group virtually dependent on their student OV, are not exactly underrepresented. Besides companies, criminal organisations are also particularly interested in the RFID chip. Like a technological vulture, they lurk on their unwitting prey. "Suppose you are a criminal and you start walking around at a festival with an RFID scanner, so as a criminal organisation you would be able to map out festival-goers' data. Their name and address details, that they are not at home and so there is every freedom to break in. Then you could very easily in a criminal network pass on the information to your accomplices. Pietje and Marietje are not at home now, they are a hundred kilometres from where they live, so we have all the time we need to rob their house. It is potentially dangerous data," Böhre said. (...)"
Source: New Revu No 19, May 2015, pp. 68-69.