Re: Barcode Email

From: Ari Silversteinn (abcarisilverstein_at_yahoo.comxyz)
Date: 07/26/05


Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 17:07:00 -0400


> In article <1s33hf6jxl5jy.qruu69fs7g93$.dlg@40tude.net>,
> Ari Silversteinn <abcarisilverstein@yahoo.comxyz> wrote:
>:The point is that there is a market for low level "encryption" that is
>:easily understood by the general public who sees barcodes every day of
>:their lives. They really don't understand how a barcode is made or read,
>:necessarily, but they trust them.

On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 17:05:11 +0000 (UTC), Walter Roberson wrote:
 
> Vendors still haven't been able to stomp out the "truth" that
> "All barcodes contain 666, The Number Of The Beast".

 Not ours, we sued Symbol and had them remove it.
 
> What would it mean for the general public to *not* trust barcodes?
>
> The UPCs on boxes and other prepared goods are clearly identical for
> most products that consumers encounter. Some deli counters and so on
> put individualized barcodes on custom-cut/served goods; it often
> only takes a few seconds to see the price written into the code.
>
> I would thus suggest that consumer trust in commonplace barcodes is
> at least partly reliant on the barcode identifying the class of
> object rather than the individual object -- feelings about barcodes
> might be different if, for example, the tracking were down to the
> level of "this customer prefers to pick up objects from the front left
> row" (something that could be done with RFID.)

I think you seriously over rate the general public's knowledge of barcodes.
 
> The consumer trust in barcodes is not based upon the reliability of
> the reading technology -- in my experience, at least 1 time in 3, there's
> a package that won't scan. Consumers *will* remember that, and if the
> scan failure rate on the proposed system isn't miniscule, the system
> won't become popular.

I don;t have the same experience and the PDF417 is highly readable with a
cheap MetroLogic scanner. Most scans are not read b/c the scanner is in a
hurry.

> The consumer trust in barcodes is not based upon anonymity of -what-
> is purchased: every item gets listed on the receipt and it would be
> assumed by most people that the store would keep copies of the receipts.
> And items such as fruit that doesn't usually have barcodes has
> cash-register codes and gets entered on the receipt anyhow.
>
> The trust is also not based upon anonymity of who buys what: anyone
> who pays by credit-card would tend to wonder whether their itemized
> purchases are being recorded against their ID, and discount cards
> such as those from Safeway (grocery store) don't hide the fact
> that the cards will be used to track individual purchases -- it's
> in the Terms and Conditions. The companies don't usually publicize
> the tracking in big block letters, but they do say, "Well, if you
> don't like being tracked, you don't have to sign up." The tracking
> is open knowledge (though perhaps not "common knowledge"), and
> consumer advocates don't seem to have much success in convincing people
> that they don't want to be tracked ("But using the card saves me money!")
> [Sure, but going to the next supermarket down the street would usually
> save even more money... Brand loyalty can be pretty powerful.]

All true with loyalty cards, yes.
 
> In locations (e.g., US States) that use bar codes on Drivers License
> and other such ID, is there general trust that the information is
> securely encoded? Not having lived in any such area, I don't know
> what the attitudes are; my reading suggests that there is *not*
> a general trust that the information is secure. I gather that the
> trust is rather that the information is machine-readable and that
> it is "all right there" for anyone who has the right equipment...
> with it being expected that not so many people have the necessary
> equipment.

DL barcodes are all over the place when it comes to what the state does or
does not do. A few encrypt, most don't the info is from everything to a
sample of the front side data. They are practically useless. Hence, the
REAL ID.
 
> I -hypothesize- that the general reaction to Ari's proposal would
> be that people would perceive that "anyone with the right equipment
> could read this". I don't wish to speculate at the moment as to
> whether that would prove a significant market detriment or not.

That's an interesting comment and I would tend to agree, of hand, but how
many people own a barcode scanner?

-- 
Drop the alphabet for email


Relevant Pages

  • Re: Barcode Email
    ... :The point is that there is a market for low level "encryption" that is ... "All barcodes contain 666, ... What would it mean for the general public to *not* trust barcodes? ... I would thus suggest that consumer trust in commonplace barcodes is ...
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  • Re: Barcode Email
    ... :The point is that there is a market for low level "encryption" that is ... "All barcodes contain 666, ... What would it mean for the general public to *not* trust barcodes? ... I would thus suggest that consumer trust in commonplace barcodes is ...
    (sci.crypt)
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