When do we start wearing foil hats at the RSA Conference?

I had a few minutes of free-ish time yesterday at the RSA Conference,so I dropped by my company’s booth to lend a hand.  Many of the boothshave this RFID reader thingy which reads the RFID embedded in ourconference badges.  By using the RFID reader you eliminate the need forexchanging cards, or filing out forms to request information from avendor. Needless to say, the group providing conference servicescharges a ridiculous amount of money for this convenience, just as theydo for chairs and plush carpet.  One of these days, they will probablycharge for breathing the air in the conference hall.

A savvy security person dropped by while I was there, and whiletalking to him, one of our boothies tried to scan his badge. No go.  Helet us in on his secret – tin foil behind the card.  I’d heard of thissuper sneaky technique before, and had figured that more people at RSAwould be using it, but he was the first we saw.

After telling this story to someone else today, we tried to reckonwhat the future in conference lead generating would be.  We decidedthat RFID badges will be out of vogue soon, replaced by retinalscanners that deploy when anyone slows down or stops at your booth formore than about 3 seconds – a la Minority Report.  Thinking a bit moreabout it, I figure that once this becomes common practice, we’ll startremotely sensing brain activity to determine if looking at the boothstimulates brain activity that indicates interest.

We’ll stop at nothing for the best marketing and sales leads. Better break out your sunglasses for RSA Conference 2010, and your foilhat for RSA Conference 2011!

Dave Morgan, Director of Privacy Research at Camouflage Software Inc.
Guest blogger for ComputerWorld Canada at RSA Conference 2009
Regular blogger for Cogitatio Privatim by Camouflage

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