Tracking the (Meta) Data – going beyond Track and Trace

Canada’s CBC News reported that a secret document revealed by Edward Snowden shows a free wireless service at an unidentified major Canadian airport was used over a two-week period by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) spy agency.

The interesting point of the article was not only did CSEC track wireless devices of airline passengers, they continued to track them even after they left the terminal. In fact, the agency collected enough data to determine where the tracked travelers had been before they entered the terminal.

This got me thinking.  Whatever happened to RFID?  And more importantly, RFID's ability to track the movement of goods at an individual product, case, pallet, or container level?

At one time, JP Morgan Chase, via its Vastera acquisition, had a product proposition that included a patent pending for diminished value analysis which tied RFID data to an algorithm around inventory visibility.  It was never launched and Vastera was later sold.  Personally, I think the idea is very interesting, as it gets at the integration of the physical and financial supply chain.  Today, p-cards, Dynamic Discounting and Supply Chain Finance solutions all focus on a Post Shipment, Invoice approved world.

There are not many finance propositions that can finance inventory or even purchase orders at a transactional level.

Unfortunately, system integration at JPM amongst other issues never got their proposition off the ground.  But you can imagine a day where items in transit, combined with measurement sensors for temperature, movement, etc. can help funding providers make more intelligent finance decisions beyond just relying on approved invoices.  Can we move beyond track and trace and tie Finance?

Mmmm. I wonder if GT Nexus is listening.

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