Do you have a subscription to Consumer Reports? Do you pick it up on the newsstand? Well, you should. Cheryl and I subscribed just over a year ago. She’s really big on reading all the reviews on , well, everything. My wife wants to know everything she can about anything we’re going to purchase — cars, TV’s, Stereos, etc. So, Cheryl subscribed us to Consumer Reports.

Did you know that they DON’T accept any advertising in their magazine (and, I’m assuming, their website).

Did you know that they DON’T accept anything they test for free. They purchase all of it — and the consumer versions, so that what they review is what we, the consumers, will be purchasing. They conduct reader surveys so that when you purchase a product, you know what other people thought of it.

In this month’s issue, the have an interesting article about Privacy and the RFID tags that can now be found in all kinds of products. I didn’t know a lot about the RFID tags, but I remember reading an article about them a couple of years ago. Wal-Mart was going to start adding them to the products they sell, so they can track all their products in a particular store. Great idea for any retail environment. You can keep track of all your inventory within minutes.

However, what I didn’t know about RFID tags is that they can be tracked as far away as 750 feet. I’m not going to rewrite the whole article here, you can get your own subscription, but after reading the CR article, I’m a little leery of these tags. All ready my purchases are tracked by my Jewel, Pick N Save and Barnes & Noble cards. Now, according to CR, these purchases can be linked to my credit card and more of my personal information. I’m a little concerned at the idea that the government could, at a whim, ask Barnes & Noble and my local library what books I read (I like to screw with the system and every so often I research bomb building or anarchy in books or on the Internet, guess the government isn’t paying any attention to little old me). But, I’m not comfortable with my shopping habits and my prescription needs are in a database that easily hacked. Yes, I know that ShopKo and Walgreens have my prescriptions in their databases, but I worry that more and more of my personal information is getting spread out over more databases, which makes it more venerable.

Or, maybe, I’m just paranoid for no reason at all.

God Bless