Wednesday, 1 August 2018

When your clothes know more about you than... you

Vogue UK published an interesting article this week on clothing containing electronic tags, which would allow for far-reaching collecting and processing of consumer data (Is Trackable Clothing Fashion's Latest Trend?). RFID (radio frequency identification) tags have already previously been used on clothing items, but they usually come with a disclaimer that they are only active within the store, until the purchase is completed. Now, in order for traders to be able to track what happens with clothes after the purchase, they are nudging consumers towards accepting that these tags remain active after the clothes (and consumers with them) leave the store. Apparently, the idea comes from the Tommy Hilfiger's brand. If consumers choose buying and wearing their new line Xplore, they will be able to use an iOS app, which will register the use of the clothing (also possibly registering geo-location of where it is worn) and reward it (there is mention of concert tickets, gift cards etc as rewards). It is supposed to be the customers' choice whether to turn on the app, allow geo-tracking and collection of data, but obviously any disconnection will lead to a miss on the rewards. Consumers trying to protect their data will thus miss out. This is another sign of the ongoing commercialization of consumer data and technology changing consumer lifestyles. Any thoughts on this development readers?

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