They can also locate workers -- medical professionals and nurses -- who are carrying self-powered, or active, tags that pinpoint their whereabouts at any given time.
This is where the technology is entering the second generation of utility. Popular for tracking pets, the RFID is slowly creeping over to humans who have little
choice: children, Alzheimer's patients, employees.
"The arguments that are winning these days involve safety, efficiency and productivity," said Ian Kerr, Canada research chair in ethics, law and technology at the University of Ottawa law faculty. "The challenge in this era is to employ this kind of technology in a way that isn't dehumanizing."