How would you feel about wearing a pair of jeans or a jacket that continually sends electronic messages back to the manufacturer telling them where those products are at any given minute? Apparently, that's exactly what L.L. Bean has in mind.
According to this MediaPost report, tthe Maine outerwear company intends to sew sensors into its products and then track the clothes after they leave the store through the Ethereum blockchain.The tracking test will start later this year and be opt in, according to details first reported in the Wall Street Journal.
In other words, you can choose whether to purchase those "smart" pants or not. But what if they don't have the style, size or color of the pair you want without the sensors?
Apparently, the process will enable the retailer to track how their clothes are used, such as in what temperatures and even when and how often they’re washed. Sensors typically could also track steps taken and other data.
I want to know what safeguards will be in place to protect the privacy of consumers.
Certainly, Bean could assure us that we have nothing to worry about, since the data is being collected through a blockchain, but who knows what that means? I looked it up, and I'll be damned if I can figure it out. Apparently its some way to encrypt data, presumably for safety. Here's a definition.
Anyway, I sure as hell won't be buying any more LLB clothing if it's going to rat me out -- not that I'm planning on doing anything wrong. But, I can see an upcoming CSI episode where the cops arrest a suspect based on the location of his jacket and shoes.
"Hey, buddy, you're under arrest for robbing that bank. Your jacket and hiking boots put you at the scene of the crime exactly at the time of the holdup. You have a right to remain silent..."
Don't we have enough stuff intruding on our privacy these days with cameras everywhere and technology that tracks everything we do online, even what movies we watch and what stuff we buy at the grocery store? Now it's going to be the very clothes that we wear that will be intruding on our private lives.
Are you kidding me?