Purdue: Tracking Tags May Threaten Privacy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- A Purdue University researcher is warning that the electronic tracking tags some retailers are putting in their products could threaten consumers' privacy.

Information security expert Eugene Spafford says companies can use the radio frequency identification tags for their own benefit by tracking what consumers have purchased without the risk of being noticed spying on them at a store.

Spafford says a relatively inexpensive device can read some tags from hundreds of feet away. He advises the White House and Pentagon on national security issues related to cybercrime and abuse.

Starting this month, one large retailer is attaching the tags to menswear.

Privacy advocates say the tags can be easily used to track customer movement through a store and even monitor what consumer products are in a person's home.