Just wondered when El Reg stopped spelling out the first occurrence of new or seldom seen acronyms? NFC = Near Field Communications I take it? Happily admitting my ignorance...
Apple has appointed an NFC expert as its head of Mobile Commerce, underlining Cupertino's commitment to making proximity payments part of the iPhone architecture. Apple has been busy filing patents on iPay, iBuy and iCoupons, not to mention using NFC to trigger communication between devices. Now NFC Communication World has …
Unless someone puts a control into the NFC chip so it's only enabled when you want it it's something I would actively avoid - I would thus certainly avoid buying a phone which has it built in.
The whole NFC concept is based on the misapprehension that NFC is "N" (Near), but that's just a matter of using a better aerial - an NFC chip can be read from a good 30 meters - without the owner noticing.
With NFC I get the same feeling as with RFID - someone has decided it's sexy (or has shares in the manufacturing) and thus pushes the concept for all it's worth, even if the specific use is wholly inappropriate and even risky. With passports, there was no reason to use RFID (neither is there a need for a central database with your biometrics), yet it happened.
Time for some metal wallets..
Apple stepping into it now might mean they've connected the dots: There's been a few very public failures to learn from, and there's some wide deployments (even if deeply flawed) here and there.
I find it pretty amazing that RFID gets so thoroughly hyped and pushed through, almost as if the benefits touted are on or near the fringe of the thinking behind it. It's not a solution filling in for a clear need, either. It's still very much looking for a problem to solve. And lots of the touted users clearly don't want it, whether from security considerations or from not seeing the point. As such it's prime conspiracy fodder. Something for an analyst to look into then?
Where are wikileaks when you need them?
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